non-O1 strains were screened for the presence of cholera enterotoxin (CT) genes by means of digoxigenin-labelled polynucleotide CT and CT probes. In-vitro production of CT was investigated by the Y1 mouse adrenal cell assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a commercial, reversed passive latex agglutination (RPLA) kit. Only two (0·25%) of 790 strains tested gave positive results with the CT and CT probes. The production of other bacterial cytotoxin(s) made it impossible to use the characteristic cell-rounding effect on Y1 cells for the detection of CT. CT production by the probe-positive strains was confirmed by the immunoassays. Two hundred and fifty-two of the 788 probe-negative strains were tested by both cell assay and immunoassays. Of these, 90% produced cytotoxin(s) in the cell assay. In addition, 37% gave positive results in CT-ELISA, but negative results with LT-ELISA and VET-RPLA. These results indicate the presumed presence of a toxin in non-O1 that is able to bind GM and react with antisera to CT, but which is not identical to CT.


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