f Use of gene probes and adhesion tests to characterise Escherichia coli belonging to enteropathogenic serogroups isolated in the United Kingdom
- Authors: S. M. Scotland, H. R. Smith*, T. Cheasty, B. Said, G. A. Willshaw, N. Stokes, B. Rowe
- *Correspondence should be sent to Dr H. R. Smith.
- J. Med. Microbiol., June 1996 44: 438-443, doi: 10.1099/00222615-44-6-438
- Subject: Bacterial Pathogenicity
- Published Online:
Nine hundred and twenty-five Escherichia coli isolates from cases of diarrhoea in the United Kingdom and belonging to enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) O serogroups were examined for virulence properties. The tests included adhesion to HEp-2 cells, the fluorescence actin staining (FAS) test (which correlates with the ability to cause attaching and effacing lesions) and DNA hybridisations with probes to detect sequences for eaeA (E. coli attaching and effacing factor), EAF (EPEC adherence factor), verocytotoxins VT1 and VT2, enteroaggregative E. coli and diffusely adherent E. coli. The O serogroups examined were 18, 26, 44, 55, 86, 111, 114, 119, 125, 126, 127, 128 and 142. Six hundred and sixty strains (71.4%) hybridised with at least one of the DNA probes. Over 80% of strains in O serogroups 26, 55, 119, 125, 127 and 142 and 41% of strains of serogroups 86, 111, 114, 126 and 128 hybridised with the eae probe and most showed localised attachment and were FAS-positive. However, <10% of these eae probepositive strains hybridised with the EAF probe. Eighty-four of 232 strains in O serogroups 44, 86, 111, and 126 were enteroaggregative. VT genes were detected in 57 of 402 strains in O serogroups 26, 55, 111 and 128. Identification of EPEC by serogrouping was shown to be an effective method of identifying strains with pathogenic potential, although the organisms were diverse in their properties.
© 1996 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland | Published by the Microbiology Society
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