Transcriptomics of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection. Individual variation in intestinal gene expression correlates with intestinal function

T.A. Niewold, J. van der Meulen, H.H.D. Kerstens, M.A. Smits, M.M. Hulst

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Acute secretory diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in young animals and humans. Deaths result from excessive fluid and electrolyte losses. The disease is caused by non-invasive bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli which produce enterotoxins, however, much less is known about the role of individual host responses. Here we report the response of intact porcine small intestinal mucosa to infection with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). Jejunal segments in four piglets were infused with or without ETEC, and perfused for 8 h, and net absorption measured. Microarray analysis at 8 h post-infection showed significant differential regulation of on average fifteen transcripts in mucosa, with considerable individual variation. Differential net absorption varied between animals, and correlated negatively with the number of up regulated genes, and with one individual gene (THO complex 4). This shows that quantitative differences in gene regulation can be functionally linked to the physiological response in these four animals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • up-regulation
  • epithelium
  • disease
  • pig

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