Epidemiology and Infection



Characterization of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli isolated from outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease in England


J. SPENCER a1, H. R. SMITH a1 and H. CHART a1c1
a1 Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Central Public Health Laboratory, 61 Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 5HT

Abstract

Twenty-two strains of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC), isolated from four outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease in England, were examined for a range of phenotypic attributes including the ability to produce fimbriae, haemolysins and siderophores, and cell-surface properties such as surface charge and hydrophobicity. Strains of EAggEC isolated from two of these outbreaks belonged to a diverse range of serotypes and were heterogeneous in phenotype. Strains of EAggEC isolated from the other two outbreaks belonged predominantly to serotypes O86[ratio]H34 and O98[ratio]H-, respectively. Only two strains expressed fimbriae and two strains produced an 18 kDa membrane associated protein (MAP), suggesting that EAggEC express a range of adhesion mechanisms to produce the cell arrangement recognized as the ‘stacked brick’ formation. The possible explanation for the diversity of EAggEC serotypes is discussed.

(Accepted July 2 1999)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence.


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