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Infect Immun. 1980 Jul;29(1):200-6.

Comparative analysis of plasmids and some metabolic characteristics of Escherichia coli K1 from diseased and healthy individuals.


All 62 Escherichia coli strains possessing the K1 capsular polysaccharide contained plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid, and most (51 of 62) had multiple plasmid species. The incidence of hemolysins, colicins, hemagglutinins for human erythrocytes, and plasmids did not differ among K1 strains isolated from the cerebrospinal fluids of neonates with meningitis or among those strains isolated from the stools of healthy individuals of all ages. There was an association between E. coli serotype and the distribution of plasmids, hemolysins, and colicins among the K1 strains. A common plasmid of about 65 megadaltons was found in all of the O18 serotypes; the similarity of these plasmids was confirmed by analysis with the restriction endonuclease EcoRI. Plasmids of similar molecular weight were also present in E. coli strains of the O7:K1 and O75:K100 serogroups. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that E. coli strains of the same serotype may be descendents of a single bacterial clone.

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