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Mol Cell Probes. 1991 Apr;5(2):129-35.

Non-radioactively labelled polynucleotide and oligonucleotide DNA probes, for selectively detecting Escherichia coli strains producing Vero cytotoxins VT1, VT2 and VT2 variant.

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Division of Enteric Pathogens, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, England.


Vero cytotoxin producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) were detected in faecal specimens and bacterial isolates, using non-radioactively labelled polynucleotide and oligonucleotide DNA probes specific for Vero cytotoxin (VT) genes. VT1 and VT2 structural gene sequences, previously cloned and used for radioactive probes, were labelled with digoxigenin or biotin. Oligonucleotide gene sequences coding for the A subunit of VT1, VT2 and VT2 variant were labelled with digoxigenin. The VT1 and VT2 probes were specific for detecting VT1 and VT2 gene sequences and gave very similar results to those obtained using the radioactive label 35S as a standard. The VT2 variant probe hybridized only with the strains of porcine origin. For the range of isolates tested, there was little significant difference in specificity and sensitivity between the digoxigenin-labelled polynucleotide and oligonucleotide probes. The biotin system gave rise to more non-specific effects, particularly with some non-E. coli strains, and was therefore less reliable. All of the digoxigenin-labelled probes gave satisfactory results after several times re-use, which is of importance when considering cost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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