strains with enterotoxic activity can be isolated from the faeces of newborn farm animals with diarrhoea and are called enterotoxigenic (ETBF). These strains can now be detected in an in-vitro cytotoxicity assay with HT-29 cells. In this study, 146 strains (95 faecal and 40 extra-intestinal isolates) and 64 isolates belonging to species other than were tested for their ability to produce enterotoxin. Sixteen strains of ETBF were identified; all belonged to the species and represented 11% of all examined. The prevalence was similar among extraintestinal and faecal strains, 11.5% and 10%, respectively. The production of enterotoxin in clinical isolates appeared to be associated with infections where tissue destruction was more prominent. Enterotoxigenicity was not associated with the presence of a plasmid and the plasmid profiles of ETBF strains that harboured plasmids were different. These results show that enterotoxin production by human isolates of is not uncommon and could represent a new virulence factor of .


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