Two types of fimbriae, designated aggregative adherence fimbria I and II (AAF/I and AAF/II) have been described in enteroaggregative (EAEC) strains. These fimbriae mediate the aggregative pattern of adherence (AA) to epithelial cells. The genes encoding the structural subunit of each fimbria have been designated and , respectively. The prevalence of these genes was investigated in 155 faecal EAEC isolates that displayed AA to HeLa cells and were isolated from children in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hybridisation assays with aggA and sequences showed that 9.7% of these isolates carried , 3.9% , and none hybridised with both sequences. Of the 78 isolates displaying AA that reacted with the previously described EAEC probe (CVD432), 19.2% and 7.7% hybridised with the and probes, respectively. None of the 77 isolates displaying AA but lacking the EAEC probe sequence hybridised with either probe. These results clearly indicate that additional factors are involved in the AA phenotype in these EAEC strains.


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