Escherichia coli isolated from 2,126 children in Thailand and the Philippines was examined for enterotoxin production and for DNA hybridization with synthetic oligonucleotide and cloned polynucleotide enterotoxin gene probes. A total of 233 infections with E. coli that were detected byh one or more of these assays were identified. Of the infections, 75% (164/233) were identified by all three methods. An additional 18% (43/233) were identified by two of three methods. Isolates from 10% (19/183) of infections with E. coli that hybridized with both the oligonucleotide and cloned enterotoxin gene probes were nontoxigenic, as determined by the Y1 adrenal cell and suckling mouse assays. Although synthetic oligonucleotide probes to detect enterotoxigenic E. coli are more uniform and easier to use than cloned enterotoxin gene probes, the heat-labile toxin oligo probe used in this study did not identify 13% (11/87) of infections with E. coli that produced heat-labile toxin, as identified with the Y1 adrenal cell assay and the cloned enterotoxin gene probe. Synthetic oligonucleotide probes enable laboratories with only minimal equipment to use DNA hybridization assays to identify enterotoxigenic E. coli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)