Previously the heat-stable enterotoxin in and has been detected by suckling mouse assay, a non-specific approach, and by DNA probes, a time-consuming method. This report describes a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure for the detection of the (NAG-ST) and (O1-ST) gene sequences that is rapid and specific, allowing toxin gene molecular characterisation. A total of 34 and isolates was examined for ST and CT genes. The NAG-ST gene sequence was amplified in 13 of 22 non-O1/non-O139 and three of five strains. A new enterotoxin gene sequence pattern was found with I and I restriction endonuclease PCR fragment digestion of two isolates, in addition to the pattern anticipated from the Genbank sequence, and found with the other ST, These results show that ST-PCR detection is useful for the characterisation of and .


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