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, 13 (1), 51

Outer Membrane Protein A (OmpA) of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia Coli


Outer Membrane Protein A (OmpA) of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia Coli

Daniel W Nielsen et al. BMC Res Notes.


Objective: Extraintestinal Pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), are responsible for host diseases such as Neonatal Meningitis Escherichia coli (NMEC), the second-leading cause of neonatal bacterial meningitis, Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC), a cause of extraintestinal disease in poultry, and Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), the most common cause of urinary tract infections. Virulence factors associated with NMEC include outer membrane protein A (OmpA) and type I fimbriae (FimH), which also occur in APEC and UPEC. OmpA contributes to NMEC's ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, persist in the bloodstream and has been identified as a potential vaccine target for ExPEC, however the protein has amino acid variants, which may influence virulence of strains or alter vaccine efficacy. Although OmpA is present in virtually all E. coli, differences in its amino acid residues have yet to be surveyed in ExPEC.

Results: Here the ompA gene (n = 399) from ExPEC collections were sequenced and translated in silico. Twenty-five different OmpA polymorphism patterns were identified. Seven polymorphism patterns were significantly associated with an ExPEC subpathotype, but chromosomal history most likely accounts for most differences found. The differences in OmpA protein sequences suggest that OmpA may influence variation in virulence and host specificity within ExPEC subpathotypes.

Keywords: APEC; Escherichia coli; Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC); NMEC; OmpA; UPEC.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Structure of OmpA, represented by the black and blue line looping through the outer membrane, with amino acid sequence polymorphisms indicated at their approximate positions. Polymorphisms 1–18 are within the N terminal domain region while polymorphisms 19–22 are within the linker/dimerization domain. The OmpA structure is based on data presented in other work [10, 21]
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Polymorphism patterns and prevalence of each pattern for APEC (n = 171), NMEC (n = 80), and UPEC (n = 148) for any polymorphism pattern that occurred greater than once. Polymorphism patterns A1, B2, C1, C4, D1, D3, and F2 are statistically significant between the subpathotypes (p < 0.05). Any polymorphism pattern that occurred fewer than two times was excluded from analysis
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
ExPEC subpathotype polymorphisms differ across their phylogenetic groups (facetted plots) by their linker/dimerization (a) and N-terminal domains (b). Any polymorphism pattern that occurred fewer than two times per subpathotype was excluded from analysis

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