The enterotoxin plasmids of Escherichia coli

C. Gyles, M. So, S. Falkow

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97 Scopus citations


The genetic and molecular nature of the Ent plasmids that determine enterotoxin biosynthesis in strains of E. coli isolated from man and domestic animals was investigated. At least one transmissible plasmid was present in 90% of 96 toxigenic strains compared with 36% of 204 nontoxigenic strains. Ent plasmids were demonstrated in 17% of the toxigenic strains and often appeared to be selftransmissible. A single Ent plasmid was isolated from 15 enterotoxigenic strains by conjugation experiments. The class of Ent plasmids that determines the production of both heat stable and heat labile enterotoxins was homogeneous and consisted of a single DNA species with an approximate molecular weight of 6.0 x 107 daltons. The class of Ent plasmids that codes for heat stable enterotoxins only was heterogeneous and consisted of a single species of DNA that ranged in size from 2.1 to 8.0 x 107 daltons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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