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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1991 Oct;10(10):746-51.

Potential role of adherence traits of Escherichia coli in persistent diarrhea in an urban Brazilian slum.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


We examined stools from 40 children with persistent diarrhea (duration, 14 days or more), from 50 children with acute diarrhea and from 38 control children to determine infectious etiologies for persistent diarrhea in Goncalves Dias, an urban favela (slum) in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. Children with persistent diarrhea and children with acute diarrhea had similar rates of isolation of routine viral, bacterial and parasitic enteric pathogens. Routine pathogens were identified in at least 20% of cultures done more than 14 days into the diarrheal illness. We examined Escherichia coli isolated from these stools for adherence potential. Enteroaggregative E. coli were isolated significantly more often from children with persistent diarrhea than from control children or children with acute diarrhea (P less than 0.05). E. coli with hemagglutination patterns suggestive of adherence pili were also isolated more often from children with persistent diarrhea than from children with acute diarrhea (38% vs. 18%; P less than 0.05). Enterotoxigenic E. coli were isolated in combination with rotavirus more often from children with persistent diarrhea than from children with acute diarrhea. E. coli which were hydrophobic or exhibited hemagglutination were also seen more often in association with Giardia in children with persistent diarrhea. These findings suggest that the etiology of persistent diarrhea in children is complex and that the aggregative E. coli are associated with prolonged diarrheal illness. Although routine diarrheal pathogens may be present for more than 14 days, combinations of pathogens, including E. coli with adherence potential, may also contribute to prolonged diarrheal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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