Reference : Shiga/Verocytotoxins and Shiga/Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Animals
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Veterinary medicine & animal health
Shiga/Verocytotoxins and Shiga/Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Animals
Mainil, Jacques mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des maladies infectieuses et parasitaires > Bactériologie et pathologie des maladies bactériennes >]
Veterinary Research
2-3, Mar-Jun
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Vero/Shiga toxins (VT/Stx) have an A-B structure: the A subunit carries the enzymatic activity and the B subunit binds the toxin to the membrane receptor (Gb3 or Gb4). The VT/Stx inhibit protein synthesis in the target eucaryotic cells, mainly the endothelial cells of blood vessels. The VT/Stx are subdivided into two families. VT1/Stx1 is a homogeneous family of toxins identical to the Stx of Shigella dysenteriae. VT2/Stx2 is a more heterogeneous family of toxins more distantly related to this Stx toxin. The VT2/Stx2 variants can be distinguished by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or the reaction with monoclonal antibodies. The VT/Stx-producing Escherichia coli are also subdivided into two main groups on the basis of the presence or absence of additional properties: the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) induce the formation of attaching/effacing lesions and carry a 60 MD plasmid encoding a specific haemolysin (the enterohaemolysin); the vero/shiga-toxigenic E. coli (VTEC/STEC) do not show these properties. The EHEC are isolated from humans and ruminants, especially young calves. They are associated with haemorrhagic enterocolitis and its sequelae in humans, the haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS). The VT/Stx play a role in the occurrence of blood in the faeces and in the HUS by their action on the endothelial cells of blood vessels in the intestinal submucosa and in the renal glomeruli, after resorption through the intestinal walls. The VTEC/STEC are isolated from piglets, calves and humans. In recently weaned piglets, they cause the oedema disease, an enterotoxaemia characterized by subcutaneous, mesenteric and cerebral oedemas, with nervous disorders as main clinical signs. The oedema disease is the consequence of the action of the VT/Stx on the endothelial cells of blood vessels in various organs. In calves and humans, the role in disease of VTEC/STEC is controversial, but they could be associated with some cases of diarrhoea and HUS. The case of the O157:H7 EHEC which are present in healthy cattle of various ages, but are highly virulent for humans is of special interest. The potential zoonotic aspect of VT/Stx-producing E. coli infections in animals is detailed chapter by chapter. Prophylaxis of these infections by vaccination is the subject of the discussion on the future of the research studies on these pathogenic bacteria.

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