A Novel Protective Vaccine Antigen from the Core Escherichia coli Genome
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Escherichia coli is a versatile pathogen capable of causing intestinal and extraintestinal infections that result in a huge burden of global human disease. The diversity of E. coli is reflected by its multiple different pathotypes and mosaic genome composition. E. coli strains are also a major driver of antibiotic resistance, emphasizing the urgent need for new treatment and prevention measures. Here, we used a large data set comprising 1,700 draft and complete genomes to define the core and accessory genome of E. coli and demonstrated the overlapping relationship between strains from different pathotypes. In combination with proteomic investigation, this analysis revealed core genes that encode surface-exposed or secreted proteins that represent potential broad-coverage vaccine antigens. One of these antigens, YncE, was characterized as a conserved immunogenic antigen able to protect against acute systemic infection in mice after vaccination. Overall, this work provides a genomic blueprint for future analyses of conserved and accessory E. coli genes. The work also identified YncE as a novel antigen that could be exploited in the development of a vaccine against all pathogenic E. coli strains—an important direction given the high global incidence of infections caused by multidrug-resistant strains for which there are few effective antibiotics.
© 2016 Moriel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.