Isolation of a lysogenic bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene, which is closely associated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains from sheep and humans.J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Nov; 39(11):3992-8.JC
A specific PCR for the detection of a variant of the gene encoding Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) called stx(1(OX3)) (GenBank accession no. Z36901) was developed. The PCR was used to investigate 148 Stx(1)-producing Escherichia coli strains from human patients (n = 72), cattle (n = 27), sheep (n = 48), and a goat (n = 1) for the presence of the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was present in 38 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains from sheep belonging to serogroups O5, O125, O128, O146, and OX3 but was absent from Stx(1)-positive ovine STEC O91 strains. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was also detected in 22 STEC strains from humans with nonbloody diarrhea and from asymptomatic excreters. Serotypes O146:H21 and O128:H2 were most frequently associated with stx(1(OX3))-carrying STEC from sheep and humans. In contrast, Stx(1)-producing STEC strains from cattle and goats and 50 STEC strains from humans were all negative for the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3))-negative strains belonged to 13 serotypes which were different from those of the stx(1(OX3))-positive STEC strains. Moreover, the stx(1(OX3)) gene was not associated with STEC belonging to enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serogroups O26, O103, O111, O118, O145, and O157. A bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene (phage 6220) was isolated from a human STEC O146:H21 strain. The phage was able to lysogenize laboratory E. coli K-12 strain C600. Phage 6220 shared a similar morphology and a high degree of DNA homology with Stx(2)-encoding phage 933W, which originates from EHEC O157. In contrast, few similarities were found between phage 6220 and Stx(1)-encoding bacteriophage H-19B from EHEC O26.