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J Infect. 1993 Nov;27(3):237-41.

Heterogeneity in expression of lipopolysaccharides by strains of Escherichia coli O157.

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Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, U.K.


A total of 47 strains of Escherichia coli belonging to serogroup O157 were examined for the expression of long-chain lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by means of SDS-PAGE and silver staining. Strains belonged to 10 different flagellar (H) types or did not express flagella. Nine strains carried genes encoding Vero cytotoxin (VT). Strains of E. coli O157 expressed one of three LPS SDS-PAGE profiles designated A, B and C. Strains expressing profile A belonged to H-types 6 and 19, while those expressing LPS profile B belonged to H-types 2, 16, 20, 39, 42 and 45. Strains of E. coli expressing profile C belonged to H-types 7 and 8; strains producing VT expressed LPS profile C only, although not all strains with H-types 7 and 8 carried genes for VT. Regardless of H-type or the LPS profile expressed, serum antibodies produced by patients infected with strains of E. coli belonging to serogroup O157 would be detected by serological tests.

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