A phenotypic variant of Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 (G5101) was isolated from a patient with bloody diarrhea. Strain G5101 does not ferment sorbitol but is beta-D-glucuronidase and urease positive. Serotyping and colony hybridization using a serotype-specific DNA probe confirmed that the isolate was O157:H7. G5101 produces Shiga-like toxins I and II and contains an eae gene that is highly conserved in the O157:H7 serotype. This strain would have been missed by laboratories that screen for the sorbitol-negative, beta-D-glucuronidase-negative phenotype in isolating E. coli O157:H7 from clinical and food specimens
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