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Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2013 Jan;56(1):8-14. doi: 10.1007/s00103-012-1586-0.

[Evolution and infection biology of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) associated E. coli (HUSEC)].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Hygiene und Nationales Konsiliarlaboratorium für Hämolytisch-Urämisches Syndrom, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Robert-Koch-Str. 41, 48149, Münster, Deutschland.


Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), which cause hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), are designated as HUSEC. Their exceptional genome variability driven by evolutionary diversification permits fast adaptation to changed environmental conditions. The HUSEC collection (, which has been established at the Institute for Hygiene in Münster, contains 42 EHEC reference strains (HUSEC001-HUSEC042). It represents a unique repository collection of pathogens and is extremely helpful for the analysis of evolutionary changes and fixed properties in the STEC that cause the most severe host injury. Such genomic attributes include slowly evolving loci, mobile genetic elements that often encode virulence factors and are assimilated via horizontal gene transfer. Current evolutionary models indicate that numerous outbreak strains evolved recently and that highly pathogenic HUSEC descend from less pathogenic progenitors. However, additional data suggest that HUSEC have small effective population sizes. The HUSEC collection is also a valuable resource with which to study important non-Shiga toxin virulence factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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