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A genetic locus of enterocyte effacement conserved among diverse enterobacterial pathogens.

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  • Research Article


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 are intestinal pathogens that profoundly damage the microvilli and subapical cytoskeleton of epithelial cells. Here we report finding in EPEC a 35-kbp locus containing several regions implicated in formation of these lesions. DNA probes throughout this locus hybridize to E. coli O157:H7 and other pathogens of three genera that cause similar lesions but do not hybridize to avirulent members of the same species. The EPEC locus and a different virulence locus of uropathogenic E. coli insert into the E. coli chromosome at the identical site and share highly similar sequences near the point of insertion.

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