Rappelli, Paola and Folgosa, Elena and Solinas, Maria Letizia and Da Costa, João Leopoldo and Pisanu, Claudia and Sidat, Mohsin and Melo, Josefa and Cappuccinelli, Pietro Antonio and Colombo, Mauro Maria (2005) Pathogenic enteric Escherichia coli in children with and without diarrhea in Maputo, Mozambique. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, Vol. 43 (1), p. 67-72. eISSN 1574-695X. Article.
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A study was conducted on the circulation of potentially diarrheagenic Escherichia coli in two groups of children, both under the age of seven. The first group (548 children) suffered from mild diarrhea and attended the Xipamanine Health Center of Maputo, in Mozambique. The second group (380 children) included randomly chosen, asymptomatic, children from the same population. A total of 503 E. coli strains were isolated from the two groups of children (n= 375 and 128, respectively). All E. coli strains were genotypically and phenotypically screened. The presence of virulence-associated genes was assessed by a set of multiplex PCR specific for st and lt genes of enterotoxic Escherichia coli (ETEC), eae and bfpA genes of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), stx1 and stx2 of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), ial of enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and the species-specific gene uidA. Adhesion and citotoxicity of isolated E. coli were evaluated in vitro on different cell cultures. A total of 37 isolates harbored virulence-associated genes: 18 were classified as ETEC, (15 from symptomatic, and three from asymptomatic children), 16 as EPEC (respectively, 13 and 3) and three EIEC in the symptomatic group. No stx1 or stx2 genes, associated with enterohemorrhagic E. coli were found. On the basis of the adhesion pattern on HeLa cells, 167 E. coli were classified as diffusely adhering, (125 in patients and 42 in controls) and 67 as enteroaggregative, (50 and 17, respectively). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in the literature on the circulation of potentially diarrheagenic E. coli in Mozambique.
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