Intraserotype diversity among Argentinian verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli detected by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis

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Most cases of diarrhoea-associated haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) are caused by verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC). Argentina has the highest worldwide incidence of HUS, but with a lower incidence of VTEC O157 : H7 serotype than non-Latin American countries. A large number of VTEC serotypes have been isolated from cattle and cattle-derived food products in Argentina. The aim of this work was to study intraserotype genetic diversity among these VTEC strains by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Strains were selected that belonged to the same serotype, but had been isolated from different sources (cattle and meat). Intraserotype genetic diversity was detected among strains belonging to O20 : H19, O113 : H21, O117 : H7, O157 : H7, O171 : H2 and O174 : H21, but only one RAPD profile corresponded to strains belonging to O91 : H21, although these isolates were from different sources.

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