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Infection with a human-derived enteroinvasive Escherichia coli strain altered intestinal barrier function in guinea pigs



The aim was to characterize a bacterium causing intestinal mucosal barrier damage and to identify the possible invasion mechanism.

Materials and methods

The intestinal permeability and tight junction protein levels were detected in guinea pigs infected with Escherichia coli D-09 via immunofluorescence analysis and western blotting. In order to explain this invasion mechanism at the gene level, whole genome sequencing analysis was performed on this bacterium.


The results showed an increased intestinal permeability and upregulated expression of the leaky protein claudin-2 in both the colon and liver of the infected animals. In addition, the draft genome of E. coli D-09 comprised 42 scaffolds (size, > 645 bp) with a total size of 4,679,567 bp. A total of 4379 protein coding genes were identified, which contained 45 antibiotic resistance and 86 virulence-related genes and covered 88.0% of the whole genome.


This study verified that the human-derived enteroinvasive E. coli strain could destroy intestinal barrier function in guinea pigs. Additionally, our data first characterized the genome features of E. coli O124:K72 D-09, which may provide new insights into the possible invasion mechanism.

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Data availability

The raw data of bacterial whole-genome sequencing in this study have been deposited in the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) in NCBI database with the accession number SRP093203: PRJNA353183 (


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.81873156, No.81602508, No.81803896), Dalian Medical Science Research Project (No.17z2005), Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (No.2019-MS-082).

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Authors and Affiliations



D.S., Y.X., and J.J.L. designed all the experiments. J.J.L., J.J.Q., X.S., and X.Q.S. performed the experiments. J.J.Q., F.B.S., and J.Y.J. did the statistics. J.J.L. wrote the manuscript. D.S. and Y.X. corrected the manuscript. A.A. edited the English language. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yi Xin or Dong Shang.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

All animal experiments were performed in accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. The animal protocols were approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of the Dalian Medical University.

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Information

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Supplementary file1 (XLSX 20 KB) Table S1 The E. coli O124:K72 D-09 genome contains five antibiotic resistance genes and forty multidrug resistance genes. Table S2 Eighty-six virulence related genes in the E. coli O124:K72 D-09 genome.

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Liu, JJ., Qiu, Jj., Shan, X. et al. Infection with a human-derived enteroinvasive Escherichia coli strain altered intestinal barrier function in guinea pigs. Int Microbiol (2022).

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  • Whole genome sequencing
  • E. coli O124:K72 D-09
  • Intestinal barrier function
  • Acute cholecystitis