The existence of a large number of serologically distinct types of Escherichia coli and the pathogenic significance of a number of these strains in the causation of both epidemic and sporadic diarrheas of infants are well recognized. The rapid detection and identification of enteropathogenic E. coli strains has become a necessity for epidemiologic and clinical control of infantile diarrheal disease. Conventional bacteriologic and serologic methods usually require at least 24 to 48 hours. The fluorescent antibody technique, by which a large number of different micro-organisms and viruses have already been identified,1-11 seemed especially applicable to the problem of pathogenic E. coli. This paper describes the application of the fluorescent antibody method as a diagnostic test for identification of E. coli O127:B8, which can be carried out within 15 to 25 minutes directly from stool specimens or rectal swabs.
Materials and Methods
An epidemic of diarrhea in 1954 in