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J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179(2):382-9.

Epidemiology of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli diarrhea in a pediatric cohort in a periurban area of lower Egypt.

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US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt.


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are diverse pathogens that express heat-labile (LT) and/or heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins, yet little is known about whether epidemiologic patterns of pediatric ETEC diarrhea vary by the expressed ETEC toxin phenotype. In total, 242 Egyptian children aged <3 years were prospectively followed in 1993-1995. ETEC episodes were detected during twice-weekly home visits, and asymptomatic ETEC excretion was identified from monthly cross-sectional surveys. ETEC episodes were 0.6 per child-year. ST-only ETEC was 2.6 times (P<.001) more common in warmer than cooler months, while LT-only ETEC showed no seasonal variation. Ownership of a household sanitary latrine, but not breast-feeding, was associated with a lower risk of both enterotoxin phenotypes. Coexpression of a colonization factor by LT- or ST-only ETEC strengthened the association with diarrhea. These findings indicate that the epidemiologic patterns of LT-only and ST-only ETEC are not identical and that disease interventions should include improved household sanitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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