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J Hyg (Lond). 1984 Jun;92(3):377-84.

Distribution of multilocus genotypes of Escherichia coli within and between host families.


Isolates from the intestinal Escherichia coli flora of 28 members of five families (including parents, children, and household pets) in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York, were characterized by the electrophoretic mobilities of 12 enzymes to estimate the extent of sharing of strains among associated and unassociated hosts. Among the 655 isolates examined, 60 different combinations of electromorphs (electrophoretic types or ETs), each representing a distinctive multilocus genotype, were identified, of which 85% were recovered from only a single individual. On average, 11% of the ETs isolated from the same family were shared by two or more members; 4.9% of ETs were shared among members of unassociated families living in the same city; and only 2% were shared by families in different cities. All three ETs that were recovered from multiple hosts in the present study are widespread clones that have been isolated from many other host individuals in North America and Sweden.

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