No outbreaks caused by Escherichia coli-producing heat-labile enterotoxin LT2 have been reported to date. Here, we revealed that the E. coli O8:H8 strains isolated from patients in 2 independent diarrhea outbreaks were negative for any known virulence determinants in routine microbiological tests, were very closely related, and carried a prophage-encoded gene for a novel LT2 variant (LT2d) and the genes for colonization factor antigen III. We also showed that LT2d has a cytotonic activity similar to LT1. These data indicate the importance of E. coli strains producing LT2d as a human pathogen.
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