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Haemorrhagic colitis: detection of verotoxin producing Escherichia coli O157 in a clinical microbiology laboratory.
  1. C W Walker,
  2. R Upson,
  3. R E Warren
  1. Clinical Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


    Faeces (n = 1319) were examined over three months for the presence of non-sorbitol fermenting, verotoxin producing Escherichia coli (serotype O157). Seven isolates were found, four from patients with bloodstained diarrhoea and three from patients with no evidence of blood in the faeces. Screening of all faecal samples with specific O157 antiserum for non-sorbitol fermenting organisms and agglutination was an important adjunct to clinical and microscopic findings and helped detect cases of verotoxin producing E coli which might otherwise have been missed.

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