A commercial coagglutination assay (COA; Phadebact LT-ETEC) was compared with a Y1 mouse adrenal cell assay for detecting the heat labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli. Of four different media evaluated for use with the COA, only one (modified blood agar) gave a positive result with all strains known to produce heat labile enterotoxin. With modified blood agar, the COA detected 74 (85%) of 87 such strains. Eighty six strains negative by cell culture assay were also negative by COA, and one strain positive by COA could not be confirmed by cell culture. The Phadebact LT-ETEC kit provides a simple, sensitive, and economical method for detecting E coli heat labile enterotoxin.
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