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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Sep;75(17):5659-66. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00443-09. Epub 2009 Jul 10.

Absence of Escherichia coli phylogenetic group B2 strains in humans and domesticated animals from Jeonnam Province, Republic of Korea.

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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Oryong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea.


Multiplex PCR analyses of DNAs from genotypically unique Escherichia coli strains isolated from the feces of 138 humans and 376 domesticated animals from Jeonnam Province, South Korea, performed using primers specific for the chuA and yjaA genes and an unknown DNA fragment, TSPE4.C2, indicated that none of the strains belonged to E. coli phylogenetic group B2. In contrast, phylogenetic group B2 strains were detected in about 17% (8 of 48) of isolates from feces of 24 wild geese and in 3% (3 of 96) of isolates obtained from the Yeongsan River in Jeonnam Province, South Korea. The distribution of E. coli strains in phylogenetic groups A, B1, and D varied depending on the host examined, and there was no apparent seasonal variation in the distribution of strains in phylogenetic groups among the Yeongsan River isolates. The distribution of four virulence genes (eaeA, hlyA, stx(1), and stx(2)) in isolates was also examined by using multiplex PCR. Virulence genes were detected in about 5% (38 of 707) of the total group of unique strains examined, with 24, 13, 13, and 9 strains containing hlyA, eaeA, stx(2), and stx(1), respectively. The virulence genes were most frequently present in phylogenetic group B1 strains isolated from beef cattle. Taken together, results of these studies indicate that E. coli strains in phylogenetic group B2 were rarely found in humans and domesticated animals in Jeonnam Province, South Korea, and that the majority of strains containing virulence genes belonged to phylogenetic group B1 and were isolated from beef cattle. Results of this study also suggest that the relationship between the presence and types of virulence genes and phylogenetic groupings may differ among geographically distinct E. coli populations.

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