Bacteroides fragilis as a commensal bacterium is a member of the human intestinal flora, but as an opportunistic pathogen it can cause serious infections as well. Some of them, harbouring an enterotoxin gene (bft), may cause diarrhoea mainly in young children. Recently it has been shown that a member of C11 proteases called fragipain (fpn) can activate the enterotoxin, while C10 protease (bfp) is suspected of playing an important role in the invasiveness of the B. fragilis isolates. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and distribution of the bft isotypes in 200 Hungarian B. fragilis isolates collected recently; and in a subset of 72 strains, we wanted to determine the prevalence of bfp1-4 and fpn genes in bft-positive and bft-negative strains. Using the MALDI-TOF MS cfiA identification project file, 19 B. fragilis strains belonging to Division II were identified and the presence of the cfiA gene was confirmed by RT-PCR. Twenty six (13.0%) B. fragilis isolates turned out to be bft gene positive by RT-PCR; 20 isolates harboured bft-1 and six bft-2 isotypes, but no bft-3 isotype containing strains were found. A melting curve analysis and the PCR-RFLP were performed to differentiate between the bft-1 and bft-2 isotypes confirmed by sequencing. Thirty eight strains harboured bfp1, 58 isolates contained bfp2 gene, while 17 isolates proved positive for bfp3. Morever, no bfp4 positive isolate was found, and some of the B. fragilis strains tested harboured two or three bfp isotypes simultaneously. Among the 26 bft-positive strains, 24 contained the fpn gene, which confirms the role of fragipain in the activation of B. fragilis enterotoxin. In experiments, a significant negative correlation between fpn and cfiA was demonstrated (p < 0.000), a positive correlation was found between bfp2 and fpn genes (p = 0.0000803), and a negative correlation between bfp2 and cfiA genes (p = 0.011).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases