The genetic relationship among the Escherichia coli
pathotypes was investigated. We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) data for constructing a dendrogram of 73 strains of diarrheagenic E. coli
. A phylogenetic tree encompassing 15 serotypes from different pathotypes was constructed using multilocus sequence typing data. Phylogram clusters were used for validating RAPD data on the clonality of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) O serogroup strains. Both analyses showed very similar topologies, characterized by the presence of two major groups: group A includes EPEC H6 and H34 strains and group B contains the other EPEC strains plus all serotypes belonging to atypical EPEC, enteroaggregative E. coli
(EAEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli
(EHEC). These results confirm the existence of two evolutionary divergent groups in EPEC: one is genetically and serologically very homogeneous whereas the other harbors EPEC and non-EPEC serotypes. The same situation was found for EAEC and EHEC.