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BGI and Collaborators Announce New Clues Found in Tracing the Origin of the Deadly E. coli Strain and Appeal for the Sharing of Additional Data
Date:6/5/2011

ce-genes were shown to be absent. (see ftp://ftp.genomics.org.cn/pub/Ecoli_TY-2482/2011vs2001_v2.xls  for our detailed comparison). The utility of so quickly sharing our initial data is further supported as the link to this original strain has already been independently verified by other groups: http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2011/06/i_dont_think_the_german_e_coli.php). See also ColiScope where the sequence of strain 55989 was first displayed (https://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope/mage/viewer.php, with option chromosome EC55989_EC55v2)

This latest evidence is that the previous 2001 German strain is the most likely ancestor of the 2011 outbreak strain. This may imply that fast evolution resulted in the gain of more genes during the last 10 years. Further comparisons between the genomes of these bacteria will greatly help clarify why the latest outbreak has been so exceptionally pathogenic on this occasion, and also provide clues on tracing the origin, spread and source of the disease, which would significantly aid the frontline health care workers fighting to control this new global outbreak.

Unfortunately, the 2001 German strain currently has no publically available genome sequence, although it was preliminarily analyzed during the original outbreak and stocks and samples are hopefully still stored. In the great strides already made by the community in just a few days from the sharing of its original genomic data, BGI is appealing for any labs which have isolates of this key strain to share samples and respective data for sequencing and analysis. The idea seems to be welcomed by scientific community.

"The origin (patient index) of the E. coli EHEC O104:H4 is not yet known.
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