Fourteen strains of Shigeila dysenteriae type 1 (Shiga bacillus) isolated from people in diverse locations from 1940 to 1987 were studied. Southern hybridization with three cloned Escherichia coli genes, Shiga-like toxin I (SLTI), frd, and ompF, was used to determine restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the genomic DNA of these strains. Digestion with each of four restriction endonucleases generated fragments of identical size to which the frd and ompF hybridized for each of the 14 strains, indicating the conservation of these genes and their flanking sequences. In contrast, after digestion with Hindlll, EcoRV, and Clal and probing with SLTI, there were RFLP among the strains. The results showed three clones of the Shiga bacillus, and suggested that dissemination of a single clone may continue for decades within a wide geographical area.
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