Shiga-toxin-2 (stx 2)-encoding bacteriophages were isolated from Norwegian Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates of cattle and human origin. The phages were characterized by restriction enzyme analysis, hybridization with probes for toxin genes and selected phage DNA such as the P gene, integrase gene and IS1203, and by PCR studies and partial sequencing of selected DNA regions in the integrase to stx 2 region of the phages. The stx 2-phage-containing bacteria from which inducible phages were detected produced similar amounts of toxin, as shown by a Vero cell assay. The results indicate that the population of stx 2-carrying phages is heterogeneous, although the phages from epidemiologically linked E. coli O157:H7 isolates were similar. There appears to have been frequent recombination of stx 2 phages with other lambdoid phages.
Adherence of the opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans to basement membrane (BM) proteins is considered a crucial step in the development of candidiasis. In this study the interactions of C. albicans yeast cells with the three main domains of type IV collagen, a major BM glycoprotein, were analysed. C. albicans adhered to the three immobilized domains by different mechanisms. Adhesion to the N-terminal cross-linking domain (7S) required the presence of divalent cations, whereas interaction with the central collagenous domain (CC) was cation-independent. Recognition of the C-terminal non-collagenous domain (NC1) was partially cation-dependent. Binding inhibition assays with the corresponding domains in soluble form showed that these interactions were specific. Both Ca2+ and Mg2+ promoted adhesion to the 7S domain and the interaction was completely abolished by EDTA. Treatment of the 7S domain, or its subunits, with N-glycosidase F reduced yeast binding by approximately 70%. Moreover, several sugars known to be part of the N-linked oligosaccharide chains of collagen IV inhibited adhesion to immobilized 7S; N-acetylglucosamine, L-fucose and methylmannoside caused a similar inhibition whereas N-acetyllactosamine was a more effective inhibitor. In contrast, glucose, galactose, lactose or heparan sulfate did not affect yeast binding. Combinations of the inhibitory sugars at suboptimal inhibition concentrations did not reduce C. albicans adhesion more than the individual sugars, pointing to a single lectin as responsible for the interaction. These results taken together show that C. albicans utilizes several adhesins for interacting with type IV collagen, and that at least one of them is a lectin which recognizes the 7S(IV) oligosaccharide residues as its receptor.