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A method of enhancing verocytotoxin production by Escherichia coli

Ibrahim Al-Jumaili, Denis A. Burke, Sylvia M. Scotland, Hanan Al-Mardini, Christopher O. Record
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1992.tb05077.x 121-125 First published online: 1 June 1992


The number of verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) present in the faeces during an infection may be very low, making their detection difficult. We report a method for enhancing toxin production by VTEC using mitomycin C as an inducing agent with the aim of improving the detection of VTEC. In pure culture, mitomycin C enhanced toxin production up to 100-fold. When applied to mixed faecal culture, toxin could be detected in mitomycin C treated samples when standard cultures were negative and when substantially fewer verocytotoxin-producing bacteria were present. Use of this method may aid in the detection of VTEC and is appropriate for use in the routine diagnostic laboratory.

Key words
  • Escherichia coli
  • Verocytotoxin
  • Mitomycin C

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