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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Mar;66(3):1205-8.

A new Shiga toxin 2 variant (Stx2f) from Escherichia coli isolated from pigeons.

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Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie der Universität Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


We have isolated Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from the feces of feral pigeons which contained a new Stx2 variant gene designated stx(2f). This gene is most similar to sltIIva of patient E. coli O128:B12 isolate H.I.8. Stx2f reacted only weakly with commercial immunoassays. The prevalence of STEC organisms carrying the stx(2f) gene in pigeon droppings was 12.5%. The occurrence of a new Stx2 variant in STEC from pigeons enlarges the pool of Stx2 variants and raises the question whether horizontal gene transfer to E. coli pathogenic to humans may occur.

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