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Infect Immun. 1999 Jun;67(6):2692-9.

Phylogenetic analysis of enteroaggregative and diffusely adherent Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


The phylogenetics of the various pathotypes of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli are not completely understood. In this study, we identified several plasmid and chromosomal genes in the pathogenic enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) prototype strain 042 and determined the prevalence of these loci among EAEC and diffusely adherent E. coli strains. The distribution of these genes is analyzed within an evolutionary framework provided by the characterization of allelic variation in housekeeping genes via multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Our data reveal that EAEC strains are heterogeneous with respect to chromosomal and plasmid-borne genes but that the majority harbor a member of a conserved family of virulence plasmids. Comparison of plasmid and chromosomal relatedness of strains suggests clonality of chromosomal markers and a limited transfer model of plasmid distribution.

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