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Mol Cell Probes. 1992 Jun;6(3):209-14.

Identification of Shiga-like toxin type II producing Escherichia coli using the polymerase chain reaction and a digoxigenin labelled DNA probe.

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Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Detroit, MI 48201.


Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that enterohaemorrhagic strains of Escherichia coli which cause the haemolytic uremic syndrome in humans and the oedema disease in pigs more frequently produce Shiga-like toxin type II (SLT-II) than any other member of the Shiga-like toxin family. A technique has been developed for the identification of SLT-II producing E. coli using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a digoxigenin (DIG)-labelled DNA probe to facilitate the early detection and epidemiological analysis of these pathogens. Whole cell DNA liberated from isolated colonies during the denaturation step of PCR was amplified using a primer pair which is homologous to the slt-II gene sequences. The amplification products were transferred directly to a nitrocellulose membrane or following agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA denaturation. A chemically labelled DNA probe, prepared using PCR with the incorporation of DIG, was used to identify the PCR products of strains which produced SLT-II or a variant of SLT-II.

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