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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2009 Jul;62(4):318-23.

Prevalence and properties of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli among healthy individuals in Osaka City, Japan.

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Urban Living and Health Association, Osaka, Japan.


The etiological roles of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC), including enteroaggregative E. coli (EAggEC), diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC) and EAST1EC--a strain of E. coli that possesses no diarrheagenic characteristics other than the EAggEC heat-stable toxin 1 (EAST1) gene--remain controversial. To clarify the prevalence of DEC among healthy individuals in Osaka City, Japan, and to compare the virulence properties of strains previously isolated from diarrheal patients, fecal specimens were examined for DEC. Isolation rates of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, enterotoxigenic E. coli, and EAggEC were significantly lower among healthy adults than sporadic adult patients. There were no differences in enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), DAEC and EAST1EC between patients and healthy carriers. Subtyping of the intimin gene (eae) of EPEC, and measuring the IL-8 inductivity of DAEC on epithelial cells could provide criteria to distinguish strains in diarrheal patients from those in healthy carriers. Proper criteria should be established in order to diagnose subtypes of DEC as causative agents.

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