A commercial latex slide test (Oxoid DR 620) for the identification of Escherichia coli O157 was compared with a standard tube agglutination method using E coli O157 antiserum (Difco). Thirty isolates previously confirmed as E coli O157 were positive by both methods: 30 isolates of E coli of serogroups other than O157, 30 isolates of non-sorbitol fermenting organisms from various genera, and one isolate of E hermanii were all negative by both methods. It is concluded that the latex slide test offers a rapid and economical alternative to tube agglutination for the identification of E coli O157.
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