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Killer genome

Jonathan B Weitzman

Genome Biology 2001, 2:spotlight-20010125-02  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20010125-02

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:25 January 2001

© 2001 BioMed Central Ltd

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O157:H7 is the unassuming name of a deadly strain of Escherichia coli that has been killing thousands of people every year, ever since the first outbreak was caused by contaminated hamburgers in 1982. In the January 25 Nature Perna et al. describe the sequencing of the entire genome of this killer bug in search of clues to its pathogenesis (Nature 2001, 409:529-533). Comparison with the genome of non-pathogenic laboratory E. coli strain K-12 revealed 1,387 new genes, which are organized into distinct strain-specific clusters sprinkled throughout the 4.1 megabases of sequence. Any of these differences may be related to disease-related traits of O157:H7. These results should aid in the development of sensitive diagnostic tools and in pinpointing the killer genes.


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    Escherichia coli O157:H7

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  3. The complete genome sequence of Escherichia coli K-12.

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