Alkaline phosphatase-conjugated (AP) 26-base oligonucleotide DNA probes were compared with the same probes labeled with γ-32P for the identification of heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (ST) enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The AP oligonucleotide probes were as sensitive as the radiolabeled (RL) probes in detecting LT and STA-2 target cell DNA, but the AP ST probe, which differed from STA-1 by two bases, was less sensitive than the RL probe in detecting STA-1 DNA (6.25 versus 0.78 ng). Of 94 ETEC that were identified with the RL probe, the AP probes detected 93% (28 of 30) of ST, 73% (25 of 34) of LT, and 67% (20 of 30) of LTST ETEC. When colony lysates of these ETEC were examined, the AP probes identified all 94 ETEC. In examinations of stool blots, the RL and AP probes were shown to have sensitivities of 71 and 59%, specificities of 91 and 86%, positive predictive values of 87 and 73%, and negative predictive values of 86 and 74%, respectively. AP oligonucleotide probes to detect ETEC were less sensitive in detecting ETEC by colony or stool blot hybridization than the RL probes but could be used by laboratories without access to radioisotopes to examine colony lysates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)