Multiplex PCR for the simultaneous detection of the Enterobacterial gene wecA, the Shiga Toxin genes (stx1 and stx2) and the Intimin gene (eae)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Research Notes. 2018, 11 (360), 1-7. 10.1186/s13104-018-3457-8
The aetiology of several human diarrhoeas has been increasingly associated with the presence of virulence factors rather than with the bacterial species hosting the virulence genes, exemplified by the sporadic emergence of new bacterial hosts. Two important virulence factors are the Shiga toxin (Stx) and the E. coli outer membrane protein (Eae) or intimin, encoded by the stx and eae genes, respectively. Although several polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocols target these virulence genes, few aim at detecting all variants or have an internal amplification control (IAC) included in a multiplex assay. The objective of this work was to develop a simple multiplex PCR assay in order to detect all stx and eae variants, as well as to detect bacteria belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae, also used as an IAC. The wecA gene coding for the production of the Enterobacterial Common Antigen was used to develop an Enterobacteriaceae specific qPCR. Universal primers for the detection of stx and eae were developed and linked to a wecA primer pair in a robust triplex PCR. In addition, subtyping of the stx genes was achieved by subjecting the PCR products to restriction digestion and semi-nested duplex PCR, providing a simple screening assay for human diarrhoea diagnostic.