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Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Apr;16(4):610-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1604.091361.

Phylogenetic analysis of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157, Germany, 1987-2008.

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  • 1Institute for Hygiene, Munster, Germany.


Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a subtyping technique for characterizing human pathogenic bacteria such as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157. We determined the phylogeny of 202 epidemiologically unrelated EHEC O157:H7/H- clinical isolates through 8 MLVA loci obtained in Germany during 1987-2008. Biodiversity in the loci ranged from 0.66 to 0.90. Four of 8 loci showed null alleles and a frequency < or =44.1%. These loci were distributed among 48.5% of all strains. Overall, 141 MLVA profiles were identified. Phylogenetic analysis assigned 67.3% of the strains to 19 MLVA clusters. Specific MLVA profiles with an evolutionary persistence were identified, particularly within sorbitol-fermenting EHEC O157:H-.These pathogens belonged to the same MLVA cluster. Our findings indicate successful persistence of this clone.

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