- CNTV English - CCTV News

Chinese, German researchers identify sequence of deadly E. coli

06-03-2011 14:29 BJT Special Report:EU Struggles with E. Coli Outbreak |

BERLIN, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The recent outbreak of deadly E. coli in Europe was caused by an entirely new super-toxic strain, Chinese and German researchers said Thursday, after finishing sequencing its genome.

By now, 17 Germans and one Swede have been killed after the outbreak, while more than 2,000 people across Europe were sickened. The number of people suffering from serious hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) due to the infection has reached 470 in Germany.

In its latest report, the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen (BGI-Shenzhen), China's flagship genome center, said it "has just completed the sequence and carried out a preliminary analysis that shows the current infection is caused by an entirely new super-toxic E. coli strain."

BGI-Shenzhen was collaborating closely with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany by using their genomic technology.

The Chinese laboratory said it had finished sequencing the genome of the bacterium upon receiving the bacterial DNA samples, with the help of the third-generation sequencing platform -- Ion Torrent.

"Bioinformatics analysis revealed that this E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic," BGI-Shenzhen said in the report, adding that the bacterium is an EHEC serotype O104 E. coli strain, which has never been involved in any E. coli outbreaks before.

The new strain was "super-toxic," as it has 93 percent sequence similarity with the EAEC 55989 E. coli strain, which was isolated in the Central African Republic and known for causing serious diarrhea.

Furthermore, it has "acquired specific sequences that appear to be similar to those involved in the pathogenicity of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome."

The lethal bacterium also carries several antibiotic resistance genes, including resistance to aminoglycoside, macrolides and Beta-lactam antibiotics, all of which makes antibiotic treatment extremely difficult, BGI-Shenzhen said, adding the acquisition of these genes may have occurred through horizontal gene transfer.

Also on Thursday, experts from the University Hospital of Muenster in Germany and Life Technologies Corporation announced their joint research results, saying "the bacterium at the root of the deadly outbreak in Germany is a new hybrid type of pathogenic E. coli strains."

"The data obtained from the DNA sequence shows the presence of genes typically found in two different types of E. coli: enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC)," said Life Technologies' laboratories in Darmstadt, Germany.

"The rapid whole genome sequencing results enabled us to discover within days a unique combination of virulence traits ... and makes this German outbreak clone a unique hybrid of different E. coli pathovars," said Dr. med. Alexander Mellmann, scientist at the German National Consulting Laboratory for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) at the Institute of Hygiene, University Hospital Muenster.

The company has provided the data in record speed, considering the severity of the outbreak, said Simone Guenther, who carried out the sequencing work in Life Technologies.

Life Technologies said the data can be used by scientists at the University Hospital Muenster to develop better tests to positively identify the illness in people showing symptoms of the infection.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program