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J Med Microbiol. 2000 Apr;49(4):383-6.

Identification and characterisation of Escherichia coli strains of O157 and non-O157 serogroups containing three distinct Shiga toxin genes.

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Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie der Universität Würzburg, Germany.


Three Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from patients with diarrhoea were identified, each of which contained three distinct stx genes (stx1, stx2 and stx2c). The strains belonged to the serotypes O52:H19, O75:H- and O157:H- and harboured eae and EHEC-hly sequences. Colony-blot immunoassay was used to demonstrate that both major types of Stx were expressed. The association of stx genes with either phage or phage DNA was demonstrated in all three strains. Isolated phage DNA from all strains contained stx1 sequences, but stx2 sequences were found only in phage DNA of two of these strains. The presence of three distinct stx genes may enhance the virulence of STEC strains and should be monitored. The observations demonstrate not only the potential of stx genes to spread within different serotypes, but also their capacity to accumulate within a single strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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