We aimed to compare the genetic diversity existing in VTEC O157:H7 strains isolated from cases of human disease from Argentina and Chile. For it, 76 strains were studied in relation to the distribution of genes encoding virulence factors and subtyped by lineage-specific polymorphisms (LSPA-6), and phylogroups assignment. Our results show the almost exclusive circulation of VTEC O157:H7 isolates belonging to lineage I/II, associated with hypervirulent strains, and to the phylogroup E and, on the other hand, genetic diversity present among Argentinean and Chilean strains analyzed, mainly in relation to putative virulence determinants and nle profiles.
Keywords: O157:H7; Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli; subtyping; virulence genes.
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