Publication Date

Spring 2016


School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences


intimin mutant, intimin, pathogenesis, inflammation, gastrointestinal tract, Citrobacter rodentium, Escherichia coli, attachment, effacement, gastrointestinal disease, pathogenesis, E. coli infection


Animal Diseases | Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Digestive System Diseases | Disease Modeling | Gastroenterology | Infectious Disease | Medical Genetics | Medical Microbiology | Medical Molecular Biology | Pathology


The intimin gene in the Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE) island of pathogenicity is the primary attachment mechanism in Citrobacter rodentium. Intimin is a bacterial adhesin (protein) that attaches to obtain a niche/nutrient and thrive within the intestine. Intimin was deleted within C. rodentium to study colonization and pathogenesis in the murine intestine. Additionally, C. rodentium is an attaching/effacing pathogen, and a useful murine model in understanding Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection in humans. E. coli and C. rodentium cause gastroenteritis in humans and mice, respectively. C. rodentium is a murine pathogen commonly used to model gastrointestinal disease because EHEC cannot be studied within mice from its lack of pathogenicity. Results have shown that C. rodentium uses intimin through causing disease during competition with commensal E. coli. By studying the mechanisms and genes involved in pathogenic adhesion in C. rodentium, it will be easier to find out a cure or treatment for illness caused by the before mentioned E. coli strains such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and colonic tumorigenesis.