Methods available for the sub-typing of Escherichia coli O157

Katie L. Hopkins, Anthony C. Hilton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The epidemiological investigation of Escherichia coli O157 is complicated by the lack of heterogeneity between strains responsible for the majority of cases of infection. As a consequence it is difficult to reliably cluster together an outbreak strain and differentiate it from other sporadically occurring isolates. The methods available for the subtyping of E. coli O157 vary in their speed, technical complexity, cost and ability to discriminate reliably between strains, with many of the recently developed methods targeting the genome to provide differentiation. No single typing method is individually superior, and ideally a combination of techniques should be employed depending on the level of discrimination required and time or resources available. The aim of this review is to consider the relative merits of the available typing methodologies with particular emphasis on those which may find application in a diagnostic laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-748
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • AFLP
  • Epidemiological typing
  • Escherichia coli O157
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • PFGE
  • RAPD
  • Sub-typing
  • Typing methods
  • VTEC


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