Genetic diversity and virulence potential of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O113: H21 strains isolated from clinical, environmental, and food sources

Peter C.H. Feng, Sabine Delannoy, David W. Lacher, Luis Fernando dos Santos, Lothar Beutin, Patrick Fach, Marta Rivas, Elizabeth L. Hartland, Adrienne W. Paton, Beatriz E.C. Guth

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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains of serotype O113:H21 have caused severe human diseases, but they are unusual in that they do not produce adherence factors coded by the locus of enterocyte effacement. Here, a PCR microarray was used to characterize 65 O113:H21 strains isolated from the environment, food, and clinical infections from various countries. In comparison to the pathogenic strains that were implicated in hemolytic-uremic syndrome in Australia, there were no clear differences between the pathogens and the environmental strains with respect to the 41 genetic markers tested. Furthermore, all of the strains carried only Shiga toxin subtypes associated with human infections, suggesting that the environmental strains have the potential to cause disease. Most of the O113:H21 strains were closely related and belonged in the same clonal group (ST-223), but CRISPR analysis showed a great degree of genetic diversity among the O113:H21 strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4757-4763
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

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