Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a Vertebrate Model Host To Study Colonization, Pathogenesis, and Transmission of Foodborne Escherichia coli O157

Stones, Daniel H ORCID: 0000-0002-8981-7943, Fehr, Alexander G. J., Thompson, Laurel, Rocha, Jacqueline, Perez-Soto, Nicolas, Madhavan, Vipin T. P., Voelz, Kerstin, Krachler, Anne Marie and D'Orazio, Sarah E. F. (2017) Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a Vertebrate Model Host To Study Colonization, Pathogenesis, and Transmission of Foodborne Escherichia coli O157. mSphere, 2. e00367-17. doi:10.1128/mSphereDirect.00365-17

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Foodborne infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are a major cause of diarrheal illness in humans and can lead to severe complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Cattle and other ruminants are the main reservoir of EHEC, which enters the food chain through contaminated meat, dairy, or vegetables. Here, we describe the establishment of a vertebrate model for foodborne EHEC infection, using larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a host and the protozoan prey Paramecium caudatum as a vehicle. We follow pathogen release from the vehicle, intestinal colonization, microbe-host interactions, and microbial gene induction within a live vertebrate host, in real time, throughout the course of infection. We demonstrate that foodborne EHEC colonizes the gastrointestinal tract faster and establishes a higher burden than waterborne infection. Expression of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), a key EHEC virulence factor, was observed early during infection, mainly at sites that experience fluid shear, and required tight control to enable successful host colonization. EHEC infection led to strain- and LEE-dependent mortality in the zebrafish host. Despite the presence of the endogenous microbiota limiting EHEC colonization levels, EHEC colonization and virulence can be studied either under gnotobiotic conditions or against the backdrop of an endogenous (and variable) host microbiota. Finally, we show that the model can be used for investigation of factors affecting shedding and transmission of bacteria to naive hosts. Overall, this constitutes a useful model, which ideally complements the strengths of existing EHEC vertebrate models.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: EHEC; O157; Foodborne pathogens; Gastrointestinal infection; Infection model; Intravital imaging; Zebrafish
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Daniel Stones
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 15:32
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6069

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