The O-antigen gene clusters of Escherichia coli serogroups O117, O126, and O146 were sequenced, and 11, 10, and 11 open reading frames (ORFs) were identified, respectively. Genes required for O-antigen sugar biosynthesis, sugar transfer, and sugar processing were identified. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were developed targeting the wzx and wzy genes present in the O-antigen gene cluster of these serogroups. The assays were highly serogroup specific when tested against strains belonging to serogroups that were isolated from food, humans, animals, and environmental sources, as well as against representative strains belonging to ca. 165 different E. coli O serogroups and a number of non-E. coli bacteria. Thus, the results demonstrate that the wzx and wzy gene sequences were specific to E. coli O117, O126, and O146 and can be used as diagnostic markers for rapid identification and detection of these serogroups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology