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E.coli outbreak in Europe caused by new toxic strain

June 2, 2011 Comments off

reuters

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An employee of Czech center of national reference laboratories prepares samples of vegetables for molecular testing on EHEC bacteria (bacterium Escherichia coli.) in Brno June 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David W Cerny

By Tan Ee Lyn

HONG KONG | Thu Jun 2, 2011 8:13am EDT

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The E. coli epidemic in Europe is caused by a new, highly infectious and toxic strain of bacteria that carries genes giving it resistance to a few classes of antibiotics, Chinese scientists who analyzed the organism said.

The scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, who are collaborating with Germany’s University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, completed sequencing the genome of the bacterium in three days after receiving its DNA samples.

“This E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic,” said the scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen city in southern China.

They said in a press release on Thursday the bacterium was closely related to Read more…