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In Silico Biology 5, 0045 (2005); ©2005, Bioinformation Systems e.V.  

Computing TaqMan probes for Multiplex PCR Detection of E. coli O157 Serotypes in water

Siya Ram and Rishi Shanker*

Environmental Microbiology Division (Gheru Campus), Industrial Toxicology Research Center, P.O. Box 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow-226001, India

* Corresponding author

Edited by H. Michael; received May 30, 2005; revised and accepted September 12, 2005; published October 09, 2005


Diarrheagenic E. coli strains contribute to water related diseases in urban and rural environment in developing and developed world. E. coli pathotype and pathogenicity varies due to complex multifactorial mechanism involving a large number of virulence factors. Rapid assessment of the virulence pattern of E. coli isolates is possible by Real-Time PCR probes like TaqMan. For designing TaqMan probes and primers for multiplex PCR selected E. coli gene sequences: stx1, stx2, hlyA, chuA, eae, lacZ, lamB and fimA were retrieved from NCBIs GenBank database. The alignment of the multiple sequences and analysis of conserved sequences was carried out using ClustalW and BLAST programs. The primers and Taqmen probes were designed using Beacon Designer software version 2.1 for two multiplexed PCR assays. In silico PCR simulation of these assays showed PCR products for stx2 (248bp) stx1 (102 bp), lacZ (228bp) and lamB (86 bp) in multiplex #1 and eae (200bp), chuA (147 bp), hlyA (141bp) and fimA (79 bp) in multiplex #2, respectively. These multiplexed PCR amplification products and probes can be used to identify and confirm presence of O157:H7/ H7-, O157:H43/45 and O26:H/H11 serotypes. In conclusion, multiplex Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction oligomers and TaqMan probes designed and validated in silico will be helpful in management of water quality and outbreaks, by improving specificity and minimizing time needed for in vitro verification work.

Keywords: E. coli O157, TaqMan probe, polymerase chain reaction