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J Infect Dis. 1997 Jun;175(6):1382-9.

Genetic and phenotypic analysis of Escherichia coli with enteropathogenic characteristics isolated from Seattle children.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine and Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle 98105, USA.


Coliform colonies from children whose stools were submitted for microbiologic analysis were studied prospectively to determine the frequency of shedding of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). In total, 2225 isolates from 445 patients were probed with eaeA (encoding intimin) and the EAF (EPEC adherence factor) probe, and adherence and actin-aggregating phenotypes were determined. Twenty-five patients (5.6%) shed non-O157:H7 eaeA+ EAF- E. coli. Of these 25 patients, isolates from 5 produced Shiga toxins and from 3 possessed bfpA (encoding the bundle-forming pilus) sequences. Non-O157:H7 eaeA+ E. coli from 21 (84%) of 25 patients adhered locally to and aggregated actin in HeLa cells. Four patients shed nonadherent EAF+ eaeA- E. coli. Non-O157:H7 eaeA+ and EAF- isolates belonged to diverse electrophoretic types and classical and nonclassical enteropathogenic serotypes. EPEC are relatively common in stools submitted for analysis in this North American pediatric hospital. Their etiologic role in childhood diarrhea warrants elucidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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