Summary: Two plasmids transferred from enterotoxigenic (ETEC) of serotype 06. H16 and biotypes A and C coded for mannose-resistant haemagglutination (MRHA) and production of heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) and heat-labile enterotoxin (LT). Both plasmids were non-autotransferring being mobilized most efficiently by the R plasmid R100-1. They were similar in their genetic properties being incompatible with each other and plasmids of the Inc group FI. The wild-type strains produced the colonization factor antigen II (CFA/II) which was made up of different coli surface antigens (CS). The biotype A strains produced CS1 and CS3 while the biotype C strains produced CS2 and CS3. These three antigens have the ability to cause MRHA. When plasmids coding for MRHA were transferred to K12 strains, the degree of haemagglutination was markedly reduced and only CS3 was produced. When both plasmids were transferred back into biotype A strains, good MRHA was restored and the strains produced CS1 and CS3. In a biotype C strain CS2 and CS3 were formed. The production of the antigens was compared by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The strains were also examined by electron microscopy where it was found that CS1 and CS2 were fimbrial antigens while CS3 was not.


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