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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 May;30(5):770-8. Epub 2000 May 18.

Enteropathogens in adult patients with diarrhea and healthy control subjects: a 1-year prospective study in a Swedish clinic for infectious diseases.

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Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


A 1-year prospective study was conducted to identify enteropathogens in adults with diarrhea (n=851) and in healthy control subjects (n=203) by use of conventional laboratory methods. Virulence factor genes for diarrheagenic Escherichia coli were detected by polymerase chain reaction. Enteropathogens were identified in 56% of patients and 16% of control subjects. The isolation rate was 65% for patients with symptoms for <1 week and for travelers; >1 pathogen was found in 11% of patients. The most frequent enteropathogens were Campylobacter (13% of patients), Clostridium difficile (13%), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (8%), Salmonella (7%), Shigella (4%), Blastocystis hominis (4%), calicivirus (3%), rotavirus (3%), enteroaggregative E. coli (2%), Aeromonas (2%), Giardia intestinalis (2%), Cryptosporidium (2%), and astrovirus (2%). Less frequently isolated (< or =1% of patients) were verotoxigenic E. coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, enteroinvasive E. coli, Entamoeba histolytica/Entamoeba dispar, microsporidia, and adenovirus. Fifty percent of the patients were hospitalized, and 43% needed intravenous fluids. The median duration of diarrhea was 14 days. Clinical features were not helpful for predicting the etiology of diarrhea.

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