A total of 22 clonal phenotypic variants of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing (STEC) O157:H7 was isolated from six different locations in Hokkaido, Japan. These isolates were negative for sorbitol fermentation but positive for β--glucuronidase (GUD). They carried , EHEC-, and genes like typical O157:H7 and, in addition, 1 and 2 genes. However, they were shown to lack and genes that are present in typical STEC O157:H7. All these atypical GUD STEC O157:H7 isolates had very similar antimicrobial susceptibilities. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis with I, I, I, I and I indicated that they were identical or closely related to one another. From their phenotypic and genotypic features, these GUD STEC O157:H7 isolates may represent a distinct clone among STEC O157.


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