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Med Princ Pract. 2008;17(4):296-301. doi: 10.1159/000129609. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Viral, bacterial and parasitic etiology of pediatric diarrhea in Gaza, Palestine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Central Laboratory and Blood Bank, AlShifa Hospital, Palestinian Ministry of Health, Gaza, Palestine. Farid1212@yahoo.com



To determine the etiology of acute diarrhea in Palestinian children under 5 years of age and to improve knowledge of the etiology of gastrointestinal pathogens using traditional and molecular diagnostic techniques.


Various common enteropathogens (viral, bacterial and parasites) associated with diarrhea were investigated by conventional and molecular techniques (PCR) in 150 children less than 5 years of age admitted to the Central Pediatric Hospital, Gaza Strip, Palestine.


The occurrence of enteropathogens identified was as follows: rotavirus 42/150 (28%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar 23/150 (15%), Shigella spp. 9/150 (6%), Campylobacter coli/jejuni and Escherichia coli O157:H7 7/150 (5%) each, Salmonella spp. 3/150 (2%), Giardia intestinalis 1/150 (1%), and Strongyloides stercoralis 1/150 (1%) of the samples. Shigella and Salmonella isolates were tested for their susceptibility to common antimicrobial agents and most of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.


This study demonstrated that rotavirus, E. coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter, which are not routinely screened for in Gaza Strip, were significant enteropathogens. The results highlight the value of using a combination of traditional and PCR techniques in the diagnosis of enteropathogens related to gastroenteritis.

(c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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