The SAS proposals for participation in FP6 projects
are listed in blocks according to the FP6 priority theme structure

FP6 priority
1.1.1   Genomics and Biotechnology for Health
Title of the proposal

Role of the stress genes/proteins involved in the preservation of virulence and protecting of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli against different stresses

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Molecular Biology
Dubravska cesta 21, 84251 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Peter FERIANC, RNDr., Ph.D.
+421 2 59307427

Research subject for a potential FP6 project

For the last eight years the research of Dr. Ferianc’s group was oriented on the study of the effect of different environmental stress factors, such as starvation, heat-shock, oxidation and cadmium stresses on the bacterial response, namely on E. coli and Vibrio sp. strains. In the last few years the work of our group has primarily focused on studying E. coli variability, surviving, mapping of pathogenic E. coli strains in surface water environment and on studying different stress effects on survival of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli strains (EHEC).Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli is the causative agent of human haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Recent outbreaks of lethal HUS indicate the need to clarify the source, distribution, and fate of these pathogens. As the natural environment of EHEC strains are the intestines of humans and other animals, when these strains get in external environment, in order to survive, they are forced to respond to the deleterious effect of different environmental stresses by the changes in their organism. Although the most important virulence factors of EHEC are presently known, the effect of different environmental stresses on preservation of virulence gene expression of pathogenic E. coli strains is not entirely understood.Therefore, the project tries to address this problem from a different angle: we suppose that some stress proteins are part of a quality stress-response regulator that facilitates survival and adaptation of the stressed pathogenic bacteria to the changed environmental conditions. In addition, it is also probably involved in the control mechanism of the virulence gene expression under these conditions. Thus, the basis of the project is to understand the role of the different stress proteins in virulence, and in protecting EHEC cells against stress-induced damage to control EHEC infections.

Recent international cooperation of the research team

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology – Microbiology, Goteborg University, Sweden;Laboratoire associe INRA/ENVT de Microbiologie Moleculaire, Ecole Nationale Veterinaire, Toulouse, France

Proposer´s relevant publications related to the research subject

[1] Puskarova, A., Janecek, S., Ferianc, P., Polek, B. 2001. Putative Cd-stress proteins YodA, YrpE, pXO1-130 share sequence similarity with adhesin AdcA. Biologia 56: 337-339. (0)

[2] Lausova, A., Ferianc, P., Polek, B. 1999. The effect of different oxidative challenge on growth and stress protein induction in Escherichia coli. Biologia 54: 649-660. (0)

[3] Ferianc, P., Farewell, A., Nystrom, T. 1998. The cadmium-stress stimulon of Escherichia coli K-12. Microbiology 144: 1045-1050. (8)

[4] Toth, D., Ferianc, P., Karelova, E., Polek, B. 1996. Protein expression in the stressed Vibrio strains. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 782: 252-263.