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J Med Microbiol. 2005 Nov;54(Pt 11):1077-82.

Importance of Providencia species as a major cause of travellers' diarrhoea.

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Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Department of Bacterial Infections, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


In this study the importance of Providencia species as a cause of travellers' diarrhoea was examined using a selective medium developed by the authors. Providencia species could easily be distinguished from other enteric pathogens by the colour of the colonies obtained. Nine strains of Providencia alcalifaciens, nine of Providencia rettgeri and five of Providencia stuartii were isolated from 130 specimens, representing a surprisingly high incidence of infection compared with other pathogens isolated on SS agar and TCBS agar. Patients infected with P. rettgeri complained of abdominal pain, as for other Providencia species, but also of vomiting, which is rather characteristic of P. rettgeri infection. To analyse the pathogenicity of these isolates, their invasiveness was examined using Caco-2 cells. Most of the P. rettgeri strains invaded Caco-2 cells. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting showed the same profile for two P. rettgeri isolates from individuals travelling in the same tour group. The results show that Providencia species, especially P. rettgeri, might cause diarrhoea, and that these species are important pathogens.

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