Bacterial enteropathogens associated with diarrhea in a rural population of Haiti
John C Jackson, Anthony L Farone, Mary B Farone
Biology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
Purpose: Diarrheal disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity in developing countries. To further understand the epidemiology of diarrheal disease among a rural population surrounding Robillard, Haiti, fecal swabs from patients with diarrhea were screened for the presence of enteropathogenic bacteria.
Patients and methods: Fecal swabs were collected from 34 patients with signs and symptoms of diarrhea and stored in BBLTM Cary-Blair transport medium (Becton, Dickinson and Company, Sparks, MD) until transit to the USA. Swab material was inoculated on to different enrichment and selective agars for incubation. Fermenting and nonfermenting bacteria that grew on the enteric selection media were identified by the BBLTM CrystalTM Enteric/Nonferementing Identification system (Becton, Dickinson and Company). Organisms identified as Escherichia coli were further screened for the presence of virulence factors by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Results: Of 34 patients, no Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, or Vibrio spp. were isolated from swabs transported to the USA for culture. Of 73 E. coli isolates cultured from the swabs, one enteropathogenic strain of E. coli was identified by multiplex PCR. Escherichia fergusonii and Cronobacter sakazakii, both potential gastrointestinal pathogens, were also isolated from patient stools.
Conclusion: This study was undertaken to determine if bacterial enteropathogens could be detected in the stools of patients suffering from diarrhea or dysentery and, in the absence of sufficient facilities, rectal swabs could be transported to the USA for culture. Although several genera of overt enteropathogens were not detected, one enteropathogenic E. coli and other pathogenic enterobacteriaceae were successfully cultured and identified.
Keywords: Escherichia, Cronobacter, diarrheagenic, stool
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