PCR Detection of Microbial Pathogens

Volume 216 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology™ pp 163-184

Detection and Subtyping of ShigaToxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

  • Peter GallienAffiliated withNational Veterinary Reference Laboratory for E. Coli, Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV)

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When the Japanese microbiologist Shiga discovered a bacterium causing dysentery in humans in 1898, the organism was designated Shigella dysenteriae type 1. The toxin produced by the germ was found to have enterotoxic and neurotoxic properties. Later on, it became clear that, in most countries, Shigella dysenteriae type 1 does not play an important role in human infectious diseases. Nevertheless, this microorganism has spread a genetic message among other bacterial species, namely Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii.