Characterization of two major groups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli O26 strains which are globally spread in human patients and domestic animals of different species

Authors

  • Luciana Leomil,

    1. Division of Microbial Toxins, Department of Biological Safety, Robert Koch Institute, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
    2. Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas II, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508–900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Antonio Fernando Pestana de Castro,

    1. Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas II, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508–900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Gladys Krause,

    1. Division of Microbial Toxins, Department of Biological Safety, Robert Koch Institute, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
    2. Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), National Reference Laboratory for Escherichia coli, Diedersdorfer Weg 1, D-12277 Berlin, Germany
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  • Herbert Schmidt,

    1. Institute of Food Technology, Department of Food Microbiology, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
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  • Lothar Beutin

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Microbial Toxins, Department of Biological Safety, Robert Koch Institute, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
    2. Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), National Reference Laboratory for Escherichia coli, Diedersdorfer Weg 1, D-12277 Berlin, Germany
      *Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 30 84 12 2259; fax: +49 30 84 12 2983., E-mail address: l.beutin@bfr.bund.de
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  • Edited by S. Smith

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 30 84 12 2259; fax: +49 30 84 12 2983., E-mail address: l.beutin@bfr.bund.de

Abstract

Twenty-three Escherichia coli O26 strains from humans, cattle, sheep, pigs and chicken were investigated for virulence markers and for genetic similarity by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and multi locus sequence typing. Two groups of genetically closely related O26 strains were defined. One group is formed by enteropathogenic (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) E. coli strains, which do not ferment rhamnose and dulcitol and most of these carry a plasmid encoding enterohemolysin. The other group consists of rhamnose and dulcitol fermenting EPEC strains, which carry plasmids encoding α-hemolysin. Multiple species of domestic animals were shown to serve as a reservoir for human pathogenic O26 EPEC and EHEC strains.

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