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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Apr;77(7):2209-14. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02229-10. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Development of an O-antigen serotyping scheme for Cronobacter sakazakii.

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TEDA School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Nankai University, 23 Hongda Street, TEDA, Tianjin 300457, China.


Cronobacter sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause severe infections. Serotyping provides a basis for the categorization of bacterial strains and is an important tool for epidemiological and surveillance purposes. In this study, of the 135 Cronobacter strains tested initially, 119 were identified as C. sakazakii and used. A serotyping scheme for C. sakazakii that classifies strains based on their different O antigens was developed. Seven antisera that exhibited high agglutinin titers (>640) were produced. O2 and O6 antisera were specific for their homologous strains, O4 and O7 antisera gave heterologous titers with O1 and O6 antigens, respectively, and O1, O3, and O5 antisera cross-reacted with each other and require preabsorption with the other two antigens. All of these 119 C. sakazakii strains were clearly assigned to these seven serotypes. O1 and O2 are the dominant serotypes, comprising 69.7% of the isolates. We also characterized the O-antigen gene clusters using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). The grouping of C. sakazakii strains based on their RFLP banding patterns correlated well with the grouping of strains based on our serotyping scheme. The serotype scheme presented here could prove to be a useful tool for serotyping C. sakazakii isolates.

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