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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Development of a PCR-based method for specific identification of genotypic markers of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains.

A simple, rapid and specific PCR-based method for identification of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) was developed. The procedure involves amplification of the E. coli-specific universal stress protein A (uspA) gene (uspa-PCR), with the primer pair described by other authors, which allows differentiation of E. coli (STEC and non-STEC) from other gram-negative bacteria followed by identification of the main genetic virulence traits of the uspA-positive isolates. For this purpose, two multiplex PCR assays, based on previously published primer sequences, were established. Assay 1 (mPCR-1) uses three primer pairs and detects the genes encoding O157 (rfb), enterohemolysin (ebly) and shiga toxin (stx), generating amplification products of 420, 534 and 230 bp, respectively. Assay 2 (mPCR-2) uses four primer pairs specific for rfb (E. coli O157), eaeA (intimin), stx1 and stx2 (shiga toxin 1 and 2, respectively), generating PCR amplicons of 420, 840, 348 and 584 bp, respectively. These two assays were validated by testing several E. coli reference strains and 202 previously characterized E. coli isolates originating from calves and from children, and 100% agreement with previous results was obtained. The method developed can be used for specific identification of STEC bacteria including those of the O157 serogroup.[1]


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