EHEC antisera (E.coli O104:H4)
The WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Escherichia and Klebsiella at Statens Serum Institut suggests the use of K9 and O104 antisera for screening and confirmation of E. coli O104. Both O104 and K9 antisera are available from SSI Diagnostica
The bacterium E.coli O104:H4 has been identified as the cause of the ongoing outbreak in Northern Germany and belongs to the pathogenic group of E. coli which produces verocytotoxins (VT). VTEC strains can cause bloody diarrhoea and eventually lead to kidney failure in the form of haemolytic ureamic syndrome (HUS).
Identification of E. coli O104 can be done by means of serotyping with K and O antisera. An E. coli O104 strain will turn positive within 10 seconds when slide agglutinating with K9 antiserum. Accordingly, K serum may be used to screen for E. coli O104. A negative result will indicate that it is not an O104 strain. It is still recommended to confirm E. coli O104 with specific O antiserum following a positive slide agglutination result.