Examination of Serpulina pilosicoli for attachment and invasion determinants of Enterobacteria

E. L. Hartland, A. S J Mikosza, R. M. Robins-Browne, D. J. Hampson

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The spirochaete, Serpulina pilosicoli, is the agent of intestinal spirochaetosis, a diarrhoeal disease of humans and other species. By mechanisms as yet unknown, large numbers of these spirochaetes intimately attach to the colonic mucosa by one cell end. In some infected individuals, the spirochaetes may invade the lamina propria and adjacent tissues, and they may cause spirochaetaemia. To examine S. pilosicoli for pathogenic determinants homologous with Enterobacteria, DNA was extracted from six strains of S. pilosicoli and hybridised at low stringency with DNA probes derived from the inv, ail and yadA genes of Yersinia enterocolitica, the eae gene from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and a probe derived from the virulence plasmid of Shigella flexneri. No hybridisation of the enterobacterial probes to S. pilosicoli DNA was detected, indicating that these gene sequences, which are known to be involved in the attachment and invasion processes of the other intestinal pathogens, were not present in the spirochaetes. Copyright (C) 1998 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1998


  • Attachment
  • Gene probe
  • Hybridization
  • Invasion
  • Serpulina pilosicoli

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