Frequency and characteristics of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli strains isolated from children with and without diarrhoea in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Regua-Mangia, Adriana Hamond
Gomes, Tania Aparecida Tardelli [UNIFESP]
Vieira, Monica Aparecida Midolli [UNIFESP]
Andrade, João Ramos da Costa
Irino, Kinue
Teixeira, Lucia Martins
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The frequency of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) strains was investigated in 253 children up to 3 years old, with (patient group, PG, 199 children) and without (control group, CG, 54 children) diarrhoea, living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. DEC strains were detected in 70 (27.6%) children, including 54 (27.1%) with diarrhoea and 16 (29.6%) without diarrhoea. Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) was the most frequent DEC category, accounting for 14.6% of the isolates in the PG and for 11.1% in the CG. E. coli strains carrying enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) virulence markers showed higher incidence in the CG (12.9%) than in the PG (8.0%). E. coli strains belonging to non-classical, EPEC groups that carried eae only or eae and bfpA, designated as attaching-effacing E. coli (AEEC) were the most frequent (79.1%). Simultaneous presence of multiple EPEC virulence factors (EAF/eae/bfpA) were only detected among strains isolated from the PG. Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strains were isolated from 5.5% of the children in the CG and from 3.5% of those in the PG. Most of the ETEC isolates were LT-probe positive (70%) and none carried both LT-I and ST-I probe sequences. One enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) strain was recovered from a child with diarrhoea. No stx-probe positive E. coli strains were detected. Overall, DEC strains were not found to be significantly associated with diarrhoea (p > 0.05). However, the higher incidence of EAEC, the most frequent DEC category, among children with diarrhoea, suggests a potential role of EAEC as an important enteric pathogen in the community investigated. (C) 2003 the British Infection Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal of Infection. London: W B Saunders Co Ltd, v. 48, n. 2, p. 161-167, 2004.