Virulence factors in diarrheagenic E. coli

We study which factors determine the ability of E. coli bacteria to cause diarrhoea and why some bacteria cause serious disease, whereas others only cause mild symptoms. We focus on shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC, also known as EHEC), but we are also interested in other diarrheagenic E. coli.

Our aim is to improve our ability to differentiate between highly virulent E. coli bacteria frequently causing severe disease and less virulent bacteria – to improve microbiological diagnosis and for better assessment of infection control measures. The identification of bacterial virulence factors may also be of importance for development of preventive measures and treatment methods.

E. coli belong to the normal intestinal flora in humans and many animals. Nevertheless, we know that certain variants of the bacteria, called E. coli pathotypes, can cause disease in humans. There are, however, great differences between bacteria within the same pathotype, and it is still only partially known which factors are key to the bacteria's ability to cause serious diarrhoea in humans.

On-going projects

  1. Analysis of virulence factors associated with haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in 96 Norwegian shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC).

  2. Regulation of shiga toxins and other virulence factors in shiga toxin producing E. coli.

In addition masters students and a research medical student are working on related projects.
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:39:19 +0200