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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1997 May;28(1):19-25.

A simple polymerase chain reaction technique to detect and differentiate Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli in human feces.

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Department of Enteric Infections, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307-5100, USA.


A simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure using IS630-specific primers was developed as a general diagnostic probe to detect Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC). However, IS630 and the other two previously reported molecular probes, ipaH and ial, cannot be used to differentiate among Shigella serotypes and EIEC strains that cause dysentery. The sensitivity of PCR protocol was determined to be 100-200 shigellae for each PCR reaction. An enrichment incubation would allow the detection of shigellae in stool samples with low bacterial concentration; i.e., < 10(4) CFU/gram. Serotype-specific primers derived from the rfc genes of differentiate among Shigella serotypes in the laboratory, such as S. sonnei, S. flexneri, and S. dysenteriae 1. It was demonstrated further that the multiplex PCR system containing rfc-specific primers can efficiently identify the most prominent Shigella serotypes in raw stool samples of acute diarrheal patients.

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