Aims: To investigate subtyping methods for verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) O128ab:H2. Methods and Results: Eleven human and food strains isolated over a 15-year period were examined. All were intimin (eae)-negative, but all possessed enterohaemolysin and VT1-encoding sequences which in nine strains were vtx1c variant. Ten strains had VT2 genes which were all vtx2d. Plasmid profiles and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR were not discriminatory. Long-PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism of amplicons bound by the p gene and the VT2A subunit had screening potential. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using XbaI gave fine discrimination although VT2 sequences were located on a 220 kbp fragment conserved in nine strains and on a 200 kbp fragment in the 10th. Conclusions: As a result of apparent clonality, PFGE proved essential for differentiation. Long-PCR has promise for screening but requires further evaluation of inter-strain variable sequences. Significance and Impact of the Study: A combined phenotypic and genotypic screen, and PFGE for selected strains was effective.
- Pulsed field gel electrophoresis
- Verocytotoxin- producing Escherichia coli O128ab:H2