Three strains of isolated from patients with diarrhoea were agglutinated with 6 antiserum in slide and tube tests. All the strains were also agglutinated with a monoclonal antibody to the common group 1 antigen shared between serotypes and type 1. Further studies with one strain also showed sharing of antigenicity in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results suggest that the strains share type-specific antigen with 6 and the common group 1 antigen with serotypes and 1. The sharing of antigens may have implications for cross-protection. One strain adhered to HEp-2 cell monolayers. None of the strains contained high mol. wt plasmids and there was no sequence homology with the invasiveness plasmid of spp. in DNA probe hybridisation. They were susceptible to the commonly used antibiotics. However, they possessed four other virulence-associated properties of spp. that included Congo-red biding, hydrophobicity, toxicity to HeLa cells and HEp-2 cell invasiveness (although they gave negative results in the Sereny test for invasiveness). These data suggest that the three unique strains might be considered pathogenic. Studies in animal models and human volunteers would be necessary to establish their pathogenic potential.


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