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J Clin Microbiol. Jan 1991; 29(1): 99–103.
PMCID: PMC269711

Production and characterization of a monoclonal antibody specific for enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli of serotypes O157:H7 and O26:H11.


A monoclonal antibody (MAb 4E8C12) specific for Escherichia coli O157:H7 and O26:H11 was produced by immunizing BALB/c mice with a rough strain of E. coli O157:H7. The antibody reacted strongly by a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with each of 36 strains of E. coli O157:H7. No cross-reactivity was observed with strains of Salmonella spp., Yersinia enterocolitica, Shigella dysenteriae, Proteus spp., Escherichia hermanii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Campylobacter jejuni, Serratia marcescens, Citrobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Hafnia alvei, Aeromonas hydrophila, and all except five strains of E. coli other than serotype O157:H7 (including strains of serotype O157 but not H7). The E. coli strains (all of serotype O26:H11) that reacted with the antibody were enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) that were isolated from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome or hemorrhagic colitis and produced verotoxin similar to that of E. coli O157:H7. MAb 4E8C12 belongs to the subclass immunoglobulin G2a and has a kappa light chain. Tricine-sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of outer membrane proteins of E. coli of different serotypes followed by Western immunoblot analysis revealed that MAb 4E8C12 reacted specifically with two proteins of EHEC strains of serotypes O157:H7 and O26:H11 with apparent molecular weights of 5,000 to 6,000. These proteins appeared to be markers specific for EHEC strains of serotypes O157:H7 and O26:H11. This MAb, because of its specificity, may be a useful reagent of an immunoassay for the rapid detection of these types of EHEC isolates in clinical and food specimens.

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