Sequence variations in the flagellar antigen genes fliCH25 and fliCH28 of Escherichia coli and their use in identification and characterization of enterohemorrhagic E. Coli (EHEC) O145:H25 and O145:H28

Beutin, L.; Delannoy, S.; Fach, P.

Enterohemorrhagic E. Coli (EHEC) serogroup O145 is regarded as one of the major EHEC serogroups involved in severe infections in humans. EHEC O145 encompasses motile and non-motile strains of serotypes O145:H25 and O145:H28. Sequencing the fliC-genes associated with the flagellar antigens H25 and H28 revealed the genetic diversity of the fliCH25 and fliCH28 gene sequences in E. coli. Based on allele discrimination of these fliC-genes real-time PCR tests were designed for identification of EHEC O145:H25 and O145:H28. The fliCH25 genes present in O145:H25 were found to be very similar to those present in E. Coli serogroups O2, O100, O165, O172 and O177 pointing to their common evolution but were different from fliCH25 genes of a multiple number of other E. Coli serotypes. In a similar way, EHEC O145:H28 harbor a characteristic fliCH28 allele which, apart from EHEC O145:H28, was only found in enteropathogenic (EPEC) O28:H28 strains that shared some common traits with EHEC O145:H28. The real time PCR-assays targeting these fliCH25[O145] and fliCH28[O145] alleles allow better characterization of EHEC O145:H25 and EHEC O145:H28. Evaluation of these PCR assays in spiked ready- to eat salad samples resulted in specific detection of both types of EHEC O145 strains even when low spiking levels of 1-10 cfu/g were used. Furthermore these PCR assays allowed identification of non-motile E. Coli strains which are serologically not typable for their H-antigens. The combined use of O-antigen genotyping (O145wzy) and detection of the respective fliCH25[O145] and fliCH28[O145] allele types contributes to improve identification and molecular serotyping of E. Coli O145 isolates.

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Beutin, L. / Delannoy, S. / Fach, P.: Sequence variations in the flagellar antigen genes fliCH25 and fliCH28 of Escherichia coli and their use in identification and characterization of enterohemorrhagic E. Coli (EHEC) O145:H25 and O145:H28. 2015.

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