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Bgi's latest discovery: clues to the origin of deadly e. coli

The bacteria that caused the European outbreak may have originated from the ehec strain isolated in Germany in 2001, according to new research published by the bgi on June 5.

The research team of the hospital found that the strains causing this outbreak were highly similar to the German isolates 01-09591 in 2001 and the non-chinese isolates 55989 in 2002 by multi-locus sequencing typing. These three strains have 7 identical "housekeeping genes" (" housekeeping genes "are necessary to maintain the minimum function of cells and are widely used in the classification of bacteria), which leads to the conclusion that the three types of escherichia coli are of the same type (ST678).

Based on this finding, the team further investigated the three strains to trace the source of the outbreak. Analysis of 12 virulence genes/adaptation genes in e. coli showed that the 2001 German isolates were identical to this year's outbreak strains, while the non-german strains were missing the shiga toxin gene and tellurite resistance gene compared to the two German strains.

The researchers concluded that the 2001 German strain was likely a direct ancestor of the outbreak. The results of antibiotic resistance tests suggest that after 10 years of evolution, the 2011 strain may have acquired some new genes that make it resistant to more antibiotics.

By comparing the genomes of strains that broke out in 2001 with those that broke out this year, the team says it will greatly help shed light on why the strain that caused the outbreak was so virulent. It will provide clues to the origin, spread and origin of the disease. This will provide stronger support for frontline health care workers to cope with and control the spread of the global epidemic.

The team said the researchers are still in contact to find samples of the 2001 German strain and related information, and continue to further analysis and research.
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