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Detection of virulence factors in culturable Escherichia coli isolates from water samples by DNA probes and recovery of toxin-bearing strains in minimal o-nitrophenol-beta-D-galactopyranoside-4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-g luc uronide media.

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A total of 449 Escherichia coli isolates in treated and raw water sources were submitted to DNA-DNA hybridization using seven different DNA probes to detect homology to sequences that code for Shiga-like toxins I and II; heat-stabile and heat-labile toxins, adherence factors EAF and eae, and the fimbrial antigen of entero-hemorrhagic E. coli. Fifty-nine (13%) of the isolates demonstrated homology with one or more specific DNA probes. More than 50% of the isolates in treated water were not recovered in MMO-4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-glucuronide media designed for detection of this indicator.

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