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Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Feb;96(2):467-72.

Increased nitrite and nitrate concentrations in sera and urine of patients with cholera or shigellosis.

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Clinical Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka.



Nitric oxide (NO) is an important regulator of cell function. In the intestine, NO regulates blood flow, peristalsis, secretion, and is associated with inflammation and tissue injury. The objectives of this study were to assess and compare the role of NO in cholera, a noninflammatory enteric infection, and in shigellosis, a bacterial inflammation of the colon.


We determined serum and urinary concentrations of nitrite and nitrate during acute illness and early convalescence in 45 hospitalized children: 24 with cholera and 21 with shigellosis; 18 healthy children served as controls. Nitrite and nitrate concentrations were determined spectrophotometrically using Greiss reaction-dependent enzyme assay.


Serum nitrite and nitrate concentrations were significantly (p < 0.05) increased during acute illness compared to the early convalescence in both cholera and shigellosis. Urinary nitrite and nitrate excretions were significantly (p < 0.01) increased during acute disease in shigellosis, but not in cholera. Nitrite concentrations correlated with stool volume (r2 = 0.851) in cholera and with leukocytosis (r2 = 0.923) in shigellosis.


Both cholera and shigellosis are associated with increased production of NO, suggesting its pathophysiologic roles in these diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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