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J Med Microbiol. 2004 Nov;53(Pt 11):1145-1149. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.45684-0.

Distribution of espI among clinical enterohaemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates.

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Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK 2Microbiology Department, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK 3Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Specialist and Reference Microbiology Division, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK.


Enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) Escherichia coli are important diarrhoeagenic pathogens; infection is dependent on translocation of a number of type III effector proteins. Until recently all the known effectors were encoded on the LEE pathogenicity island, which also encodes the adhesin intimin and the type III secretion apparatus. Recently, a novel non-LEE effector protein, EspI/NleA, which is required for full virulence in vivo and is encoded on a prophage, was identified. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of espI among clinical EHEC and EPEC isolates. espI was detected in 86 % and 53 % of LEE+ EHEC and EPEC strains, respectively. Moreover, the espI gene was more commonly found in patients suffering from a more severe disease.

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