Molecular and phenotypic typing of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated in childhood acute diarrhea in Abuja, Nigeria
Introduction: Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) causes infectious diarrhea among children in developing countries. However, in Nigeria, due to limited laboratory resources, the genetic diversity of its virulence factors, which include intimin subtypes, remains undefined.
Methodology: EPEC isolates from diarrheic children 60 months of age and younger in Abuja, Nigeria, were analyzed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for EPEC virulence gene, Hep-2 cell adherence, and serotyping were performed. EPEC strains were further subtyped by PCR for the identification of intimin subtype genes α (alpha), β (beta), γ1 (gamma-1), and έ (epsilon). Antibiotic resistance and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production was determined by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines.
Results: Overall, 18 (4.5%) out of 400 children with acute diarrhea had EPEC infection. Typical EPEC (tEPEC) strains were detected in 14 (3.5%), whereas 4 (1.1%) were atypical EPEC (aEPEC). A total of 15 (83.3%) of the EPEC isolated belonged to β intimin subtype gene, while the remaining 3 EPEC isolates possessed the intimin έ subtype. No α and γ intimin subtypes were detected. Traditional EPEC serotypes O114:H14 were detected only in tEPEC strains. Marked resistance to β-lactam agents were observed but no ESBL-producing tEPEC or aEPEC was detected.
Conclusions: This is the first report of intimin subtype genes in Abuja, Nigeria. EPEC isolates of diverse serotypes resistant to β-lactam antimicrobial agents were observed. These data will be useful in facilitating the characterization of intimin variants of EPEC and some Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in humans and other animal species.
Copyright (c) 2017 Casmir Cajetan Ifeanyichkwu Ifeanyi, Nkiruka Florence Ikeneche, Bassey Enya Bassey, Stefano Morabito, Caterina Graziani, Alfredo Caprioli
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