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N Engl J Med. 1975 May 1;292(18):933-6.

Travelers' diarrhea and toxigenic Escherichia coli.


In a group of 133 United States students studied for 18 days after arriving in Mexico, diarrhea developed in 38 (29 per cent). Diarrhea rarely began before the fourth day, and the mean onset was 13 days after arrival. Symptoms lasted an average of 3.4 days but persisted in 21 per cent of sick students. Heat-labile enterotoxin-producing Escheria coli was found in the stools of 72 per cent of sick and 15 per cent of healthy students. None had heat-labile Esch. coli when they entered Mexico. The incubation period was short, generally 24 to 48 hours, and the carrier state was five days or less in 82 per cent of students surveyed. Entamoeba histolytica was found in 6 per cent of cases of diarrhea, but not salmonella, shigella or penetrating Esch. coli. These studies suggest that approximately 70 per cent of travelers' diarrhea in Mexico is associated with heat-labile toxigenic strains of Esch. coli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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