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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2007 Apr;13(4):404-7.

Association of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli with irritable bowel syndrome.

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  • 1University of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Wrocław, Poland. mapasobie@provider.pl


Increased numbers of faecal Enterobacteriaceae are observed among patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Escherichia coli strains are present in the lower intestine of humans, and may include several potentially pathogenic adhesive pathotypes. The aim of this study was to determine whether there were differences between the adhesive pathotypes of E. coli strains recovered from stool specimens of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and those recovered from healthy controls. The ability of E. coli isolates to adhere to cultured epithelial cells was assessed in an in-vitro adherence assay with HEp-2 cells. Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) strains were isolated significantly more frequently (p <0.00001) from patients with irritable bowel syndrome (81.8%) than from healthy controls (32.3%). However, despite this association, the precise role of the EAEC pathotype in irritable bowel syndrome remains to be determined.

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