The fine structure of the cell surface of seven enterotoxemic Escherichia coli (ETEEC) O139:K12 strains isolated from piglets with edema disease were examined electron microscopically using both the negative-staining method and the freeze-substitution fixation method. Densely packed, fine fibers were observed; they consisted of a capsule layer approximately 25 nm thick around the cell surfaces of strains 107/86, IW-2, ED-3, ED-43, and ED-61, all of which have a capacity to adhere strongly to HEp-2 cells. In contrast, no such structure was observed on the surface of strains RK-O139 or ED-1, both of which adhere only weakly to HEp-2 cells. These results suggest that the capsule structure might be associated with the ability to adhere to HEp-2 cells and, as a result, also potentially play some role in ETEEC infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology