Background: Ileal lesions of Crohn's disease (CD) patients are abnormally colonized by pathogenic adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) able to invade and to replicate within intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages.
Principal findings: We report here the complete genome sequence of E. coli LF82, the reference strain of adherent-invasive E. coli associated with ileal Crohn's disease. The LF82 genome of 4,881,487 bp total size contains a circular chromosome with a size of 4,773,108 bp and a plasmid of 108,379 bp. The analysis of predicted coding sequences (CDSs) within the LF82 flexible genome indicated that this genome is close to the avian pathogenic strain APEC_01, meningitis-associated strain S88 and urinary-isolated strain UTI89 with regards to flexible genome and single nucleotide polymorphisms in various virulence factors. Interestingly, we observed that strains LF82 and UTI89 adhered at a similar level to Intestine-407 cells and that like LF82, APEC_01 and UTI89 were highly invasive. However, A1EC strain LF82 had an intermediate killer phenotype compared to APEC-01 and UTI89 and the LF82 genome does not harbour most of specific virulence genes from ExPEC. LF82 genome has evolved from those of ExPEC B2 strains by the acquisition of Salmonella and Yersinia isolated or clustered genes or CDSs located on pLF82 plasmid and at various loci on the chromosome.
Conclusion: LF82 genome analysis indicated that a number of genes, gene clusters and pathoadaptative mutations which have been acquired may play a role in virulence of AIEC strain LF82.