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  • 1 Arabian Gulf University Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences Manama Kingdom of Bahrain
  • 2 University of Sharjah Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine P. O. Box 27272 Sharjah United Arab Emirates
  • 3 Udine Medical School Department of Medical and Morphological Sciences, Institute of Microbiology Udine Italy
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The association between putative virulence genes in Campylobacter jejuni clinical isolates, in vitro invasive capability and severity of infection is yet to be clearly described. We have characterized three virulence genes and correlated their presence with the severity of infection and in vitro invasiveness. We studied eight C. jejuni strains isolated from patients whose clinical data were scored to determine severity of infection. Cytolethal distending toxin (cdtB) , invasion associated marker (iam) and Campylobacter invasion antigen (ciaB) genes were detected by PCR and INT407 cells used for invasion assays. Two strains positive for all three genes were the most invasive and isolated from patients with the most severe infection. Four strains positive for two genes and two strains negative for all the three genes were identified. The two cdtB+ ve / ciaB+ ve strains were more invasive than the cdtB+ ve / iam+ ve strains. One of the cdtBve / ciaBve strains showed invasion levels similar to cdtB+ ve / ciaB+ ve strains, but the second strain had a non-invasive phenotype. The findings indicate a correlation between in vitro invasive capability, and the presence of all three genes. The pattern of association between invasiveness and molecular characterization suggests that the ciaB gene confers a more invasive capability.

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