Jose Flores-Figueroa

MD FACP
JM Research · Clinical Research

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) has been reported as a complication of bacterial diarrhea including travelers' diarrhea (TD). This study assessed the role of TD among US students in Mexico in triggering the onset of persistent abdominal symptoms (PAS) and IBS. We conducted a 6-month follow-up of a cohort of 817 US students in Mexico as short-term study to assess the frequency of PAS and IBS. Using Rome II criteria for IBS, groups of students with PAS were then categorized as PI-IBS if they met the symptom criteria for IBS or as suffering from functional abdominal disorder (FAD) if they did not meet the criteria. FAD and IBS were commonly found in US students 6 months after leaving Mexico. Important variables in their development were younger adult age, longer stays in Mexico and occurrence of acute diarrhea while in Mexico. Diarrhea while in Mexico occurred more commonly for those later diagnosed with FAD, 101/196 (52%), relative risk (RR) = 1.5 [confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.8; p = 0.001]; IBS, 20/32 (63%), RR = 2.5 (CI 1.2-5.0; p = 0.007); and PAS (FAD + IBS), 121/228 (53%), RR = 1.5 (CI 1.2-1.8; p < 0.001) compared with subjects who had experienced diarrhea while in Mexico but were not diagnosed with PAS at 6 months, 227/589 (39%). Diarrhea caused by heat-labile enterotoxin-producing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli or Providencia ssp. demonstrated a greater risk of developing PAS. PAS occurred commonly in a subset of younger adult travelers who stayed longer in Mexico and experienced acute diarrhea while there. Further studies with this cohort will focus on host genetic associations with the development of PAS.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 03/2014; · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mexico and Central America are important travel destinations for North American and European travelers. There is limited information on regional differences in travel related morbidity. We describe the morbidity among 4779 ill travelers returned from Mexico and Central America who were evaluated at GeoSentinel network clinics during December 1996 to February 2010. The most frequent presenting syndromes included acute and chronic diarrhea, dermatologic diseases, febrile systemic illness, and respiratory disease. A higher proportion of ill travelers from the United States had acute diarrhea, compared with their Canadian and European counterparts (odds ratio, 1.9; P < .0001). During the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak from March 2009 through February 2010, the proportionate morbidity (PM) associated with respiratory illnesses in ill travelers increased among those returned from Mexico, compared with prior years (196.0 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers vs 53.7 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers; P < .0001); the PM remained constant in the rest of Central America (57.3 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers). We identified 50 travelers returned from Mexico and Central America who developed influenza, including infection due to 2009 H1N1 strains and influenza-like illness. The overall risk of malaria was low; only 4 cases of malaria were acquired in Mexico (PM, 2.2 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers) in 13 years, compared with 18 from Honduras (PM, 79.6 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers) and 14 from Guatemala (PM, 34.4 cases per 1000 ill returned travelers) during the same period. Plasmodium vivax malaria was the most frequent malaria diagnosis. Travel medicine practitioners advising and treating travelers visiting these regions should dedicate special attention to vaccine-preventable illnesses and should consider the uncommon occurrence of acute hepatitis A, leptospirosis, neurocysticercosis, acute Chagas disease, onchocerciasis, mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, neurocysticercosis, HIV, malaria, and brucellosis.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 09/2011; 53(6):523-31. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rifaximin has been shown to be effective in treating and preventing travelers' diarrhea (TD) during the summer season. The goal of this double-blinded multicenter trial was to assess the efficacy and safety of rifaximin 550 mg administered once daily for 14 days compared with placebo in the prevention of TD during the dry season in Mexico. There were 101 participants randomized. Overall, 25 participants developed TD during the 3 weeks of the study: 22% from the rifaximin group and 29% from the placebo group (p = 0.4). Mild diarrhea (defined as only one or two unformed stools during a 24-h period plus at least one abdominal symptoms) developed in only 3 (6%) participants taking rifaximin compared with 10 (21%) taking placebo during the first week of study (p = 0.03). No clinically significant or serious adverse events were reported. Antibiotic prophylaxis of TD in Mexico during the dry season needs to be further studied and its benefits weighed against the benefits of self-treatment.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 09/2011; 18(5):333-6. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diarrhea is the most common complaint reported by travelers from industrialized countries visiting developing nations. High-risk areas for travelers' diarrhea (TD) include South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, while moderate-risk areas include Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania and the Caribbean. Bacterial pathogens are the major cause of TD. Recent advances in the therapy for diarrhea include a better understanding of the potential benefit of symptomatic and antimicrobial therapy. The mainstay of treatment includes antibacterial therapy with one of three drugs, a fluoroquinolone, rifaximin, or azithromycin. Probiotics have been used in preliminary studies for both treatment and prevention of TD, but more studies are needed with these biologic agents. The aim of this review is to identify the recent advances in the therapy of TD and to provide recommendations for treatment during international travel.
    Current Gastroenterology Reports 07/2011; 13(5):402-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Under normal conditions, the expression of CD14, which is the principal receptor for bacterial lipopolysaccharide, is down-regulated in the intestinal mucosa but increases in response to inflammatory stimuli. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether fecal CD14 levels increased in response to infection with diarrheagenic Escherichia coli and whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CD14 gene were associated with an increased susceptibility to traveler's diarrhea (TD) in US visitors to Mexico. Six SNPs located at the promoter, exon, and untranslated regions of CD14 were typed in a prospective cohort study of 1360 visitors to Mexico at risk for TD. Stools from visitors with TD were studied for enteric pathogens by culture, colony hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction. Fecal soluble CD14 (sCD14) was measured in a subgroup of 203 adults with diarrhea and 66 healthy controls by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The minor allele frequencies for CD14 SNPs were significantly different among the various racial and ethnic groups studied. Two SNPs in the promoter region of CD14 (-159 C > T; rs2569190 and -4191 C > T; rs5744441) were found to be associated with TD in White visitors. The -159 TT genotype was associated with a higher risk for TD (Relative risk [RR], 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.38; P = .008), whereas individuals with the -4191 TT genotype were protected from infection (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71-0.92; P = .006). Subjects with TD excreted higher levels of fecal CD14 than did healthy controls (33,480 pg/mL vs 6178 pg/mL; P < .02). Fecal sCD14 levels were higher in stool samples from visitors with TD and the -159 TT genotype than they were in visitors with the CC/CT genotypes (P = .02), and stool samples from subjects with the -4191 CC genotype had higher fecal sCD14 levels than did stool samples from visitors with the CT/TT (P = .005) genotype. In a multivariate analysis with haplotypes constructed with the 6 SNPs studied, subjects with the haplotype containing the -159 C and the -4191 T allele were less likely to acquire TD (P = .015). Our study suggests that CD14 levels increase in response to bacterial diarrhea and that polymorphisms in the CD14 gene influence susceptibility to TD. Intestinal CD14 plays an important role in the innate immune response to enteric pathogens.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 06/2011; 52(11):1332-41. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 60% of the US visitors to Mexico develop travelers' diarrhea (TD). In Mexico, rates of diarrhea have been associated with the rainy season and increase in ambient temperature. However, the seasonality of the various diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes in travelers has not been well described. A study was undertaken to determine if ambient temperature and rainfall have an impact on the acquisition of TD due to different diarrheagenic E coli pathotypes in Mexico. We conducted a cohort study of the US adult students traveling to Cuernavaca, Mexico, who were followed during their stay and provided a stool sample with the onset of TD. The presence of E coli was analyzed by a direct fecal multiplex polymerase chain reaction for common E coli pathotypes including enterotoxigenic, enteropathogenic, enteroinvasive, shiga toxin-producing, and enteroaggregative E coli (ETEC, EPEC, EIEC, STEC, and EAEC respectively). The presence of pathotypes was correlated with daily rainfall, average, maximum, and minimum temperatures. A total of 515 adults were enrolled from January 2006 to February 2007. The weekly attack rate of TD for newly arrived travelers was lower in the winter months (range 6.8%-16.3%) than in summer months (range 11.5%-25%; p = 0.05). The rate of ETEC infection increased by 7% for each degree centigrade increase in weekly ambient temperature (p = 0.003). In contrast, EPEC and EAEC were identified in similar proportions during the winter and summer seasons. Temperature variations in central Mexico influenced the rate of ETEC but not EAEC-associated diarrhea in the US visitors. This epidemiological finding could influence seasonal recommendations for the use of ETEC vaccines in Mexico.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 03/2011; 18(2):121-5. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni is an unusual cause of travelers' diarrhea acquired in Mexico, but previous studies have relied only on stool culture for diagnosis. We conducted a cohort study to determine if antibody seroconversion to C jejuni would better reflect the occurrence of infection acquired in Mexico. Serum IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies to Campylobacter seroconverted in only 2 of 353 participants (0.6%). These data further support that C jejuni infection is an unusual cause of travelers' diarrhea in US visitors to Mexico.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 01/2011; 18(1):56-8. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular characterization of Escherichia coli with use of the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay allows the determination of clonal origin and geographic clustering. Presumed enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) from 213 adults with travelers' diarrhea acquired in Mexico during the summer months of 2004-2007 were studied. Biochemical testing strips determined a 7-digit fingerprint on the basis of 21 biochemical reactions. E. coli producing enterotoxin were evaluated for clonality by RAPD assay. Dendrograms were developed using Pearson correlations with 80% similarity to determine clonal groups. Of the presumed ETEC, 85% were confirmed to be E. coli on the basis of biochemical analysis. Other enterotoxigenic bacteria included Citrobacter species (9%) and other coliforms (all 2%). RAPD analysis with primers 1247 and 1254 determined 24 ETEC clonal groups containing 2-9 subjects each, of which 15 spanned the 4 years and 8 spanned both cities. Complete biochemical evaluation of E. coli-like, enterotoxigenic organisms is crucial in ETEC identification. In addition, other enterotoxigenic organisms identified should be studied further for their role in enteric disease. Travelers to Mexico are exposed to a large pool of different ETEC strains from multiple sources, with a small number of dominant types showing a widespread and persistent reservoir of infection.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 06/2010; 201(12):1831-8. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), which produces heat-labile toxin (LT), is a common cause of travelers' diarrhea (TD). The B subunit of ETEC LT is immunologically related to the B subunit of Vibrio cholerae toxin (CT). In this pilot study we evaluated the whole-blood gamma interferon response to CT B in 17 U.S. adults traveling to Mexico. Only one of nine subjects who demonstrated a cellular immune response as determined by whole-blood gamma interferon production to CT B on arrival to Mexico developed diarrhea, whereas five of eight without a cellular response developed diarrhea. Markers of the cellular immune response to ETEC LT could help in identifying individuals immune to ETEC LT, and these markers deserve additional study.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 03/2010; 17(5):879-81. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    Jose Flores, Pablo C Okhuysen
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    ABSTRACT: This review examines recent developments in human genetic susceptibility to enteropathogens that cause infectious diarrhea. The affinity of specific norovirus genogroups to different histoblood group antigens (HBGAs) on secretor cells has been studied in different epidemiologic studies. HBGAs are also used as receptors by Vibrio cholerae with different degrees of affinity between biotypes. Polymorphisms in the CD14, lactoferrin and osteoprotegerin promoter genes were associated to diarrhea in travelers. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL-8 genes are also associated to increased risk for enteroaggregative Escherichia coli and Clostridium difficile infection. IL-10 haplotypes were associated to enterotoxigenic E. coli associated diarrhea in exposed individuals. A family-based study showed a significant association of the LPLUNC1 gene and cholera. The major histocompatibility complex class II antigens are associated to different degrees of susceptibility and resistance to Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and Entamoeba infection. Variants in genes that encode molecules that mediate attachment, pathogen recognition, inflammatory cytokine response, innate and acquired immunity are being identified as determinants of host genetic susceptibility to infectious diarrhea.
    Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 08/2009; 22(5):471-6. · 4.87 Impact Factor
  • Jose Flores, Pablo C Okhuysen
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    ABSTRACT: To review studies that improve the current knowledge on the epidemiology, virulence factors, detection, and chronic complications of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) infection. EAEC infection is an important cause of diarrhea in outbreak and non-outbreak settings in developing and developed countries. In the USA, EAEC is one of the most common bacterial pathogens identified in cases of diarrhea not associated with immunodeficiency or foreign travel. Important advances have been made in the understanding of the pathogenesis of this enteropathogen. The extracellular matrix proteins fibronectin, laminin, and collagen IV have been shown to function as receptors for adherence frimbriae. A distinct aggregative adherence pilin hdaA has been identrified. The diagnosis of EAEC depends on the observation of the characteristic 'stacked-brick' like adhesion pattern when co-cultured with HEp-2 cells. At the molecular level, strains demonstrating the aggregative phenotype are heterogeneous; however, several virulence factors can be detected by polymerase chain reaction. Several EAEC proteins have shown antigenicity and could become vaccine candidates. Recently, infection with EAEC has been implicated in the development of irritable bowel syndrome, but this remains to be confirmed. There has been significant progress in understanding the pathogenesis and clinical profile of EAEC infection.
    Current opinion in gastroenterology 02/2009; 25(1):8-11. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoprotegerin (OPG), an immunoregulatory member of the TNF receptor superfamily, is expressed in inflamed intestinal mucosa. We investigated whether OPG is produced by intestinal epithelial cells and tested the hypothesis that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding OPG (TNFRSF11B) are associated with traveler's diarrhea (TD) among North American travelers to Mexico. OPG concentration was measured in the supernatants of T84 cells infected with various diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes. Genotyping was performed for 4 SNPs in the OPG gene for 968 North American travelers with or without TD. Stool samples from travelers with TD were evaluated for the presence of enteric pathogens. T84 cells produced higher OPG levels in response to infection with various diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes than with E. coli controls (P<.05). A SNP in the exon 1 region of the OPG gene (OPG+1181G>C) was associated with TD in white travelers who stayed in Mexico for >1 week during the summer (P=.009) and for TD due to nonsecretory pathogens (P=.001). Our study suggests that OPG is secreted by intestinal epithelial cells in response to enteropathogens and that a polymorphism in the OPG gene is associated with an increased susceptibility to TD.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 01/2009; 199(4):477-85. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied 1,179 North American travelers who visited Mexico from 2005 to 2007. Travelers' diarrhea (TD) was reported by 521 (44%) participants. Among subjects with TD, 218 cases were examined for cryptosporidiosis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA). There were 14 (6%) cases of cryptosporidiosis and 141 cases (64%) of bacterial diarrhea. Compared with bacterial diarrhea, a longer stay in Mexico was a risk factor for cryptosporidiosis. Additionally, Cryptosporidium cases passed greater number of watery stools (P < 0.05), suffered more episodes of diarrhea (P < or = 0.05), and were more likely to experience tenesmus (P < or = 0.05) compared with bacterial causes of TD. ELISA detected seven (3%) cases of Cryptosporidium, whereas PCR identified an additional seven cases (6%). Speciation by 18SrRNA sequencing showed that 13 cases were caused by C. parvum and only 1 case was caused by C. hominis. ELISA showed a sensitivity of 50% and specificity of 100% compared with PCR.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 08/2008; 79(2):210-4. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 60% of U.S. visitors to Mexico develop traveler's diarrhea (TD), mostly due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains that produce heat-labile (LT) and/or heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins. Distinct single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the interleukin-10 (IL-10) promoter have been associated with high, intermediate, or low production of IL-10. We conducted a prospective study to investigate the association of SNPs in the IL-10 promoter and the occurrence of TD in ETEC LT-exposed travelers. Sera from U.S. travelers to Mexico collected on arrival and departure were studied for ETEC LT seroconversion by using cholera toxin as the antigen. Pyrosequencing was performed to genotype IL-10 SNPs. Stools from subjects who developed diarrhea were also studied for other enteropathogens. One hundred twenty-one of 569 (21.3%) travelers seroconverted to ETEC LT, and among them 75 (62%) developed diarrhea. Symptomatic seroconversion was more commonly seen in subjects who carried a genotype producing high levels of IL-10; it was seen in 83% of subjects with the GG genotype versus 54% of subjects with the AA genotype at IL-10 gene position -1082 (P, 0.02), in 71% of those with the CC genotype versus 33% of those with the TT genotype at position -819 (P, 0.005), and in 71% of those with the CC genotype versus 38% of those with the AA genotype at position -592 (P, 0.02). Travelers with the GCC haplotype were more likely to have symptomatic seroconversion than those with the ATA haplotype (71% versus 38%; P, 0.002). Travelers genetically predisposed to produce high levels of IL-10 were more likely to experience symptomatic ETEC TD.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2008; 15(8):1194-8. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large field studies of travelers' diarrhea for multiple destinations are limited by the need to perform stool cultures on site in a timely manner. A method for the collection, transport, and storage of fecal specimens that does not require immediate processing and refrigeration and that is stable for months would be advantageous. This study was designed to determine if enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) DNA could be identified from cards that were processed for the evaluation of fecal occult blood. U.S. students traveling to Mexico during 2005 to 2007 were monitored for the occurrence of diarrheal illness. When ill, students provided a stool specimen for culture and occult blood by the standard methods. Cards then were stored at room temperature prior to DNA extraction. Fecal PCR was performed to identify ETEC and EAEC in DNA extracted from stools and from occult blood cards. Significantly more EAEC cases were identified by PCR that was performed on DNA that was extracted from cards (49%) or from frozen feces (40%) than from culture methods that used HEp-2 adherence assays (13%) (P < 0.001). Similarly, more ETEC cases were detected from card DNA (38%) than from fecal DNA (30%) or by culture that was followed by hybridization (10%) (P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the card test were 75 and 62%, respectively, compared to those for EAEC by culture and were 50 and 63%, respectively, compared to those for ETEC. DNA extracted from fecal cards that was used for the detection of occult blood is of use in identifying diarrheagenic E. coli.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 07/2008; 46(7):2227-30. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a major cause of travellers' diarrhoea. We investigated the rate of diarrhoea attacks, safety, and feasibility of a vaccine containing heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) from ETEC delivered to the skin by patch in travellers to Mexico and Guatemala. In this phase II study, healthy adults (aged 18-64 years) who planned to travel to Mexico or Guatemala and had access to a US regional vaccination centre were eligible. A centralised randomisation code was used for allocation, which was masked to participants and site staff. Primary endpoints were to investigate the field rate of ETEC diarrhoea, and to assess the safety of heat-labile toxins from E coli (LT) delivered via patch. Secondary endpoints included vaccine efficacy against travellers' diarrhoea and ETEC. Participants were vaccinated before travel, with two patches given 2-3 weeks apart. Patches contained either 37.5 mug of LT or placebo. Participants tracked stool output on diary cards in country and provided samples for pathogen identification if diarrhoea occurred. Diarrhoea was graded by the number of loose stools in 24 h: mild (three), moderate (four or five), and severe (at least six). Analysis was per protocol. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00516659. Recruitment closed after 201 participants were assigned patches. 178 individuals received two vaccinations and travelled and 170 were analysed. 24 (22%) of 111 placebo recipients had diarrhoea, of whom 11 (10%) had ETEC diarrhoea. The vaccine was safe and immunogenic. The 59 LT-patch recipients were protected against moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (protective efficacy [PE] 75%, p=0.0070) and severe diarrhoea (PE 84%, p=0.0332). LT-patch recipients who became ill had shorter episodes of diarrhoea (0.5 days vs 2.1 days, p=0.0006) with fewer loose stools (3.7 vs 10.5, p<0.0001) than placebo. Travellers' diarrhoea is a common ailment, with ETEC diarrhoea illness occurring in 10% of cases. The vaccine patch is safe and feasible, with benefits to the rate and severity of travellers' diarrhoea.
    The Lancet 06/2008; 371(9629):2019-25. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This pilot study examined the change in the seroprevalence of the enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) virulence factor dispersin in USA students during a short stay in Cuernavaca, Mexico, between June and August 2004. One hundred and ninety-five students provided paired serum samples - one on arrival to Mexico (pre-serum) and a second on departure from Mexico (post-serum) after a mean stay of 19 days. Serum samples were tested for IgG antibody to a recombinant purified dispersin protein by ELISA. For all travellers, with and without diarrhoea, the mean+/-sd pre-serum absorbance value (read at 450 and 570 nm) was 0.340+/-0.212 and the mean post-serum value was 0.513+/-0.316 (P<0.00001). Both travellers who developed diarrhoea and those who did not develop diarrhoea had an increase in IgG antibody to dispersin from the time of arrival to the time of departure from Cuernavaca (diarrhoea group 0.323+/-0.197 to 0.501+/-0.311, P<0.00001, and the asymptomatic group 0.354+/-0.224 to 0.525+/-0.321, P<0.00001). The pre-serum absorbance value (read at 450 and 570 nm) for IgG antibody to dispersin was not associated with protection against the development of diarrhoeal illness. These results indicate that USA travellers to Mexico show seroconversion for the EAEC virulence factor dispersin. Further studies are needed to characterize in more detail the host clinical and immunological responses to the dispersin protein.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 04/2008; 57(Pt 4):476-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is the most common bacterial pathogen isolated from travelers suffering of diarrhea. Exposure to heat-labile toxin (LT) produces a high rate of seroconversion. However, the role of LT-producing ETEC (LT-ETEC) as a cause of diarrhea is controversial. We conducted a cohort study in US students traveling to Mexico to assess the ETEC-LT seroconversion rate after natural exposure. Participants provided a serum sample on arrival and departure and a stool sample when ill. ETEC-LT immunoglobulin G antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and LT-ETEC were detected by means of polymerase chain reaction done on fecal DNA. A total of 422 participants with a mean age of 34.5 years were followed a mean of 19.9 days; 304 were females (72.0%), and 319 (75.6%) traveled during the summer months. In total, 177 individuals (41.9%) developed travelers' diarrhea and 33.9% had LT-ETEC identified in their stools. Among individuals having an LT-ETEC strain, 74% seroconverted compared to 11% of those not having diarrhea (p < 0.0001). When analyzed with a logistic regression model, the odds of seroconversion were significantly reduced in participants not having LT-ETEC in their stool (odds ratio = 0.1, p < 0.0001) after adjusting for season, length of stay, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. In US young adults traveling to Mexico, ETEC-LT seroconversion reliably identifies individuals naturally exposed to ETEC and correlates with symptomatic illness, length and season of travel.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 01/2008; 15(3):156-61. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diarrhea affects 40%-60% of travelers from industrialized nations who visit developing countries and is due to bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents. Lactoferrin is bactericidal to enteric pathogens, modulates the intestinal immune response, and is excreted in stool in response to infection with intestinal organisms. We investigated the impact that selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human lactoferrin gene have on susceptibility to traveler's diarrhea. Adults who had recently arrived in Mexico were studied prospectively for the occurrence and causal agent(s) of traveler's diarrhea, and genotyping was performed for 9 distinct lactoferrin SNPs. Of the 9 SNPs studied, only 1 SNP (located in exon 15) was associated with traveler's diarrhea (P=.004). When compared with healthy travelers, and after adjustment for known risk factors for traveler's diarrhea (such as age and duration and season of travel), subjects with the T/T genotype in amino acid position 632 were more likely to develop traveler's diarrhea (67% vs. 33%; relative risk [RR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.7; P<.001), to have diarrhea with a pathogen identified (RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6; P=.03), and to have a marker of intestinal inflammation in stool specimens (blood, mucus, or white blood cells; 52% vs. 38%; P=.036). The association was also significant when norovirus was not identified in stool samples (RR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.06-1.34; P=.01). The T/T genotype in position codon 632 of the lactoferrin gene is associated with susceptibility to diarrhea in North Americans traveling to Mexico.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 04/2007; 44(7):945-52. · 9.37 Impact Factor

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