Summary: One hundred and ninety one strains of isolated from extra-intestinal infections and 85 strains isolated from the stools of healthy human beings were compared for electrophoretic mobility and isoelectric point of carboxylesterase B, and for production of α-haemolysin and the presence of mannose resistant haemagglutinin. Fast and slow electrophoretic mobilities were distinguished among the strains. The frequency of strains showing slow mobilities was considerably higher when they originated from extra-intestinal infections (40%) than when they were obtained from the stools of healthy individuals (7%). In a two-dimensional electrophoretic profile, the fast and slow mobility variants of carboxylesterase B were resolved into two patterns, B and B, respectively. The frequency of pathogenic strains that concomitantly produced α-haemolysin and mannose resistant haemagglutinin was 48·7% for strains of pattern B but only 2·8% for strains of pattern B. Thus, the electrophoretic pattern B of carboxylesterase B appears to be a molecular marker for a group of highly pathogenic strains which are frequently implicated in extra-intestinal infections.


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