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Thirty enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) isolated (Miri hospital, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2003) from children with diarrhea were examined for the detection of verotoxin (VT). PCR method was carried out using two sets of primers (VT1 and VT2) which yielded a fragment of 348 bp of VT1 gene and 584 bp of VT2 gene, respectively. Ten E. coli isolates (33%) carried VT1 gene but none was found to carry VT2 gene. All the VT1-positive isolates harbored plasmid. Southern hybridiza-tion study revealed that VT1 probe was in homology with the chromosome of all 10 VT1-positive isolates indicating that the VT1 gene has to be located on chromosome. Nucleotide sequencing was made from the VT1 gene fragment isolated from an EPEC isolates (E. coli 07). It showed that 96% homology with the known VT1 gene indicates the similar gene harbored by E. coli O157 and other ancestors.
Molecular characterization, verotoxin gene, EPEC.