Research News

Jun 16, 2023

  • Veterinary Science

New insights on bacteria that causes food poisoning

Latest research reveals the properties of a type of food poisoning bacteria, and paves way for establishment of preventive methods.

The transfer of pathogenic genes between not only same bacterial species but also different species

The pathogenic genes of Providencia rustigianii can be transferred to Enterobacteriaceae as well.

Credit: Shinji Yamasaki, Osaka Metropolitan University

Recently, Providencia spp. which have been detected in patients with gastroenteritis, and similar to enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. O157 and Salmonella spp., have been attracting attention as causative agents of food poisoning. For children with low immunity, food poisoning can be lethal as it causes severe symptoms such as diarrhea and dehydration, so clarifying the source of infection and pathogenic factors of Providencia spp., and establishing preventive methods are urgent issues worldwide.

A joint research group led by Professor Shinji Yamasaki, Dr. Sharda Prasad Awasthi, a Specially Appointed Lecturer, and graduate student Jayedul Hassan from the Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Osaka Metropolitan University, determined how the pathogenic genes in some Providencia spp. such as Providencia alcalifaciens and Providencia rustigianii are transferred within bacterial cells of genus Providencia. The group has also elucidated that the pathogenic genes of Providencia rustigianii are also transferred to other bacterial cells belonging to Enterobacteriaceae.

Professor Yamasaki concluded, "This achievement is expected to provide new insights into the identification of infection routes of Providencia spp. and the establishment of preventive methods for food poisoning."

The findings were published in Infection and Immunity.


This work was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI 17H04651 and 20K07483.

Paper Information

Journal: Infection and Immunity
Title: Presence of functionally active cytolethal distending toxin genes on a conjugative plasmid in a clinical isolate of Providencia rustigianii
DOI: 10.1128/iai.00121-22
Author: Jayedul Hassan, Sharda Prasad Awasthi, Noritoshi Hatanaka, Phuong Hoai Hoang, Akira Nagita, Atsushi Hinenoya, Shah M Faruque, Shinji Yamasaki
Publication date: May 9, 2023


Graduate School of Veterinary Science
Shinji Yamasaki
E-mail: yshinji [at]
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