Escherichia coli isolated from a Crohn's disease patient adheres, invades, and induces inflammatory responses in polarized intestinal epithelial cells

Tonyia Eaves-Pyles, Christopher A. Allen, Joanna Taormina, Alexander Swidsinski, Christopher B. Tutt, G. Eric Jezek, Martha Islas-Islas, Alfredo Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations


Inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract are a major health concern both in the United States and around the world. Evidence now suggests that a new category of Escherichia coli, designated Adherent Invasive E. coli (AIEC) is highly prevalent in Crohn's Disease (CD) patients. AIEC strains have been shown to colonize and adhere to intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). However, the role AIEC strains play in the induction of an inflammatory response is not known. Therefore, we examined several E. coli strains (designated LF82, O83:H1, 6604 and 6655) that were isolated from CD patients for their ability to induce inflammation in two IEC, Caco-2BBe and T-84 cells. Results showed that each strain had varying abilities to adhere to and invade IEC as well as induced cytokine secretion from polarized IEC. However, E. coli O83:H1 displayed the best characteristics of AIEC strains as compared to the prototype AIEC strain LF82, inducing cytokine secretion from IEC and promoting immune cell migration through IEC. Upon further analysis, E. coli O83:H1 did not harbor virulence genes present in known pathogenic intestinal organisms. Further characterization of E. coli O83:H1 virulence determinants showed that a non-flagellated O83:H1 strain significantly decreased the organism's ability to adhere to and invade both IEC and elicit IEC cytokine secretion compared to the wild type and complemented strains. These findings demonstrate that E. coli O83:H1 possesses the characteristics of the AIEC LF82 strain that may contribute to the low-grade, chronic inflammation observed in Crohn's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008



  • Bacteria
  • Crohn's disease
  • Immune cells
  • Inflammation
  • Intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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