Volume 80, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Enteroaggregative (EAEC) pathogenesis is thought to comprise intestinal colonization followed by the release of enterotoxins and cytotoxins. Here, we use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine the prevalence of 10 genes encoding serine protease autotransporter toxins (SPATEs) in a collection of clinical EAEC isolates. Eighty-six percent of EAEC strains harbored genes encoding one or more class I cytotoxic SPATE proteins (Pet, Sat, EspP, or SigA). Two Class II, non-cytotoxic, SPATE genes were found among EAEC strains: and , each originally described in 2a. Using a multiplex PCR for five SPATE genes ( and ), we found that most of the isolates also harbored more than one SPATE, whereas members of most other pathotypes rarely harbored a cytotoxic SPATE gene. SPATEs may be relevant to the pathogenesis of both EAEC and spp.


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  • Received : 07 Jul 2008
  • Accepted : 02 Oct 2008

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