Role of heat-stable enterotoxins in the induction of early immune responses in piglets after infection with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

PloS one

PubMedID: 22815904

Loos M, Geens M, Schauvliege S, Gasthuys F, Van der Meulen J, Dubreuil JD, Goddeeris BM, Niewold T, Cox E. Role of heat-stable enterotoxins in the induction of early immune responses in piglets after infection with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(7):e41041.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains that produce heat-stable (ST) and/or heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins are cause of post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. However, the relative importance of the different enterotoxins in host immune responses against ETEC infection has been poorly defined. In the present study, several isogenic mutant strains of an O149:F4ac(+), LT(+) STa(+) STb(+) ETEC strain were constructed that lack the expression of LT in combination with one or both types of ST enterotoxins (STa and/or STb). The small intestinal segment perfusion (SISP) technique and microarray analysis were used to study host early immune responses induced by these mutant strains 4 h after infection in comparison to the wild type strain and a PBS control. Simultaneously, net fluid absorption of pig small intestinal mucosa was measured 4 h after infection, allowing us to correlate enterotoxin secretion with gene regulation. Microarray analysis showed on the one hand a non-toxin related general antibacterial response comprising genes such as PAP, MMP1 and IL8. On the other hand, results suggest a dominant role for STb in small intestinal secretion early after post-weaning infection, as well as in the induced innate immune response through differential regulation of immune mediators like interleukin 1 and interleukin 17.