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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Nov;31(11):3034-5.

Invasive strains of Escherichia coli belonging to serotype O121:NM.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, Japan.


Ten strains of Escherichia coli isolated from 10 travellers with sporadic diarrhea who were returning to Tokyo, Japan, from abroad were found to be of serotype O121:NM and were positive in the Serény test for invasiveness; this suggests that this serotype can cause a shigellosis-like illness in humans. The E. coli O121:NM strains were positive in the cell invasion test in HeLa cells. Analysis of the plasmid content of these strains showed that they contained a high-molecular-mass plasmid of 120 to 140 MDa which has been associated with invasiveness and were positive in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of the virulence plasmid-encoded proteins of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive E. coli.

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