We compared the genomes of 60 isolates of enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) in order to better understand the step-wise evolutionary process from non-pathogenic to host-adapted pathogenic E. coli. All isolates belonged to either sequence type (ST) 6, ST99 or ST270. Each ST was located on different branches of the E. coli phylogeny and had invasion plasmids (pINVs) belonging to FII-21 (ST99, ST270), FII-27 (ST270) or FII-28 (ST6, ST270) incompatibility groups. A higher number of insertion sequence (IS) elements were identified in ST6 and ST270 than in ST99, and appeared to be driving the loss of functional genes. Comparison of the pINV from each ST revealed different degrees of gene loss, with pINV from ST270 being most similar to that found in Shigella species. We captured three EIEC STs at different stages of patho-adaptation, with ST270 being the most ‘shigella-like’ and the most divergent from non-pathogenic E. coli, and ST99 being the least divergent.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health or Public Health England.
© 2018 The Authors.
- Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli
- Insertion sequences
- Invasion plasmid
- Whole genome sequencing