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Culture confirmation of Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 by direct immunofluorescence.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


An evaluation of a fluorescein-labeled, polyclonal, affinity-purified goat antibody to Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 (Kirkegaard & Perry Laboratories Inc., Gaithersburg, Md.) was conducted to determine the efficacy of this research reagent for the rapid direct immunofluorescence identification of E. coli O157:H7 isolated from fecal specimens cultured on sorbitol-MacConkey (SMAC) agar. The E. coli O157:H7 fluorescent-antibody conjugate proved to be 100% sensitive and specific for the rapid identification of non-sorbitol-fermenting E. coli O157:H7 from SMAC agar inoculated with fecal specimens. The addition of SMAC agar to the battery of primary isolation media routinely used for fecal specimens resulted in the identification of 16 patients with E. coli O157:H7 disease from a total of 799 fecal specimens cultured during 1988.

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