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The Use of Sorbitol-MacConkey Agar in Conjunction with a Specific Antiserum for the Detection of Vero Cytotoxin-Producing Strains of Escherichia coli O 157

H. Kleanthous, N. K. Fry, H. R. Smith, R. J. Gross and B. Rowe
Epidemiology and Infection
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Oct., 1988), pp. 327-335
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3863440
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Use of Sorbitol-MacConkey Agar in Conjunction with a Specific Antiserum for the Detection of Vero Cytotoxin-Producing Strains of Escherichia coli O 157
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Abstract

Using DNA probes specific for the genes encoding Vero cytotoxins 1 and 2 in hybridization experiments on faecal samples, Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) of serogroup O 157 were detected in 21 of 63 cases of haemorrhagic colitis, 9 of 31 cases of non-bloody diarrhoea and 14 of 68 cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Compared with these results sorbitol-MacConkey agar in conjunction with a specific O 157 antiserum gave a sensitivity of 62% in haemorrhagic colitis, 56% in non-bloody diarrhoea and 57% in haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The specificity of this method was 100% in all three groups. This demonstrates that sorbitol-MacConkey agar is a useful screening method for the detection of VTEC of serogroup O 157 when used in conjunction with a specific homologous antiserum. However, this method does not detect VTEC belonging to other serogroups and such strains were found, particularly in cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome.

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