Escherichia coli F-18 and E. coli K-12 eda mutants do not colonize the streptomycin-treated mouse large intestine

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The Escherichia coli human fecal isolates F-18 and K-12 are excellent colonizers of the streptomycin-treated mouse intestine, E. coli F-18 and E. coli K-12 eda mutants (unable to utilize glucuronate, galacturonate, and gluconate) were constructed by insertional mutagenesis. Neither the E. coli F-18 eda nor the E. coli K-12 eda mutant was able to colonize the streptomycin-treated mouse intestine, whether they were fed to mice together with their respective parental strains or alone. Complementation of the eda mutants with pTC190 (containing a functional E. coli K-12 eda gene) completely restored the colonization ability of both eda mutants. Relative to their parental strains, the E. coli F-18 eda mutant and the E. coli K-12 eda mutant grew poorly in cecal mucus isolated from mice fed either normal mouse chow or a synthetic diet containing sucrose as the sole carbon source, yet the mutants and parental strains demonstrated identical growth rates in minimal medium with glucose as the carbon source. E. coli F-18 edd eda and E. coli K-12 edd eda double mutants colonized the streptomycin-treated intestine when fed to mice alone; however, when fed simultaneously with their respective parental strains, they were poor colonizers. Since the edd gene is involved only in gluconate metabolism via the Entner-Doudoroff pathway, these results implicate the utilization of gluconate and the Entner-Doudoroff pathway as important elements in E. coli colonization of the streptomycin- treated mouse large intestine.

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Infection and Immunity