Escherichia coli F-18 makes a streptomycin-treated mouse large intestine colonization factor when grown in nutrient broth containing glucose

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Escherichia coli F-18 FimA-, a type 1 fimbria derivative of a normal human fecal isolate, E. coli F-18, has previously been shown to be a colonizer of streptomycin-treated mouse large intestine as its parent, suggesting that type 1 fimbriae are not necessary in this process. In this study it was found that when E. coli F-18 FimA- was grown standing overnight at 37°C in nutrient broth, it remained uniformly suspended; however, when grown in nutrient broth containing 1% (wt/wt) D-glucose, it settled to the bottom of culture tubes. Settling was associated with the formation of clumps (microcolonies) of more than 10 cells each. The effect of glucose could be partially reversed by growing E. coli F-18 FimA- in nutrient broth containing 1% D-glucose supplemented with cyclic AMP (≥1 mM). A reduced-settling mutant of E. coli F-18 FimA-, E. coli F-18 FimA- Set-, selected after Tn5 mutagenesis, was found to be a poor colonizer of streptomycin-treated mouse large intestine when fed to mice simultaneously with the parent strain. These results suggest that glucose-induced settling is, at least in part, regulated in a way related to catabolite repression and that the ability of E. coli F-18 FimA- to form microcolonies plays an important role in its ability to colonize streptomycin-treated mouse large intestine.

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Infection and Immunity