Query: NC_013008:11938 Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. TW14359 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Escherichia coli; Escherichia; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. TW14359 was isolated from spinach during the E. coli outbreak in 2006. This organism was named for its discoverer, Theodore Escherich, and is one of the premier model organisms used in the study of bacterial genetics, physiology, and biochemistry. This enteric organism is typically present in the lower intestine of humans, where it is the dominant facultative anaerobe present, but it is only one minor constituent of the complete intestinal microflora. E. coli, is capable of causing various diseases in its host, especially when they acquire virulence traits. E. coli can cause urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, and many different intestinal diseases, usually by attaching to the host cell and introducing toxins that disrupt normal cellular processes.
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General Information: This well studied laboratory strain (Porton isolate) is not virulent due to the loss of the two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.