Chinese scientists sequence E. coli genome

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, June 5, 2011
Adjust font size:

Chinese scientists have fully sequenced the genome of the new E. coli spreading throughout Europe. They announced on Saturday that they have found genes in the bacteria that gave it resistance to eight classes of antibiotics.

Researchers with the Beijing Genomics Institute, the world's largest DNA sequencing center, have found genes in the newly identified 0104 strain of E. coli bacteria that made it resistant to major classes of antibiotics including sulfonamide, cephalothin, penicillin and streptomycin.

BGI's major research arm in Shenzhen says this helps explain why doctors in Europe have had difficulties in fighting the bug which has killed at least 19 people and made more than 1,700 ill.

BGI says the finding would help doctors choose the right medicines for treatment.

The Chinese researchers obtained DNA samples of the bacteria from collaborating with scientists in Germany and fully sequenced its genome in three days this week.

They are developing a diagnostic kit which will be used to detect the bacteria and prevent the epidemic from spreading further.

Cui Yu'an, Researcher BGI-Huada Genomics Institute in Shenzhen, said, "We have found the bacteria's genes are close to a certain bacteria separated from an African HIV patient in 2002.

The next step for us is to develop a diagnosis reagent box as soon as possible. If we can develop the reagent box, we can monitor the surrounding environment as well as those afflicted. This may help contain the spread of bacteria."

E. coli attacks the kidneys and can cause seizures, strokes and comas and is mainly found in cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

A number of countries have banned import of vegetables from Germany and Spain due to the E. coli outbreak.

In the latest move, Qatar has banned the import of all vegetables from Germany and Spain.

The Qatari Supreme Council of Health says it will not hesitate to ban all vegetables from European countries if necessary.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from