Development of a rapid method for the detection of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC)

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Aims:The object of this study was to adapt a new test kit to achieve the rapid identification of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC).Methods and Results:The kit, which is based on reversed passive latex agglutination (RPLA), was combined with a method for identifying heat-labile enterotoxin-producing E. coli (LT-ETEC). An answer can thereby be obtained within a single working day. Over 200 strains, both VTEC and non-VTEC, of human and animal origin, belonging to a variety of serotypes were tested in this new rapid technique. Apart from three false-positive results, all other strains gave the correct answer by this rapid method.Conclusions:The method should enable the diagnosis of these important human pathogens to be made rapidly by most microbiological laboratories, and permit appropriate actions to be taken rapidly and therefore more effectively.

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