[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Argentina has a high incidence of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); 12.2 cases per 100,000 children younger than 5 years old were reported in 2002. Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary etiologic agent of HUS, and STEC O157 is the predominant serogroup isolated. The main objective of the present work was to establish the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the STEC strains in general isolated from Argentine children during a prospective study and the clonal relatedness of STEC O157:H7 strains using subtyping techniques. One hundred and three STEC strains isolated from 99 children were included. The phenotypic and genotypic features were established, and a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCRRFLP) was performed to determine stx2 variants. The clonal relatedness of E. coli O157 isolates was established by phage typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The 103 STEC strains belonged to 18 different serotypes, and 59% were of serotype O157:H7. Stx2 was identified in 90.3%, and stx1 in 9.7%. Among the 61 STEC O157 strains, 93.4% harbored the stx2/stx2vh-a genes; PT4 (39.3%) and PT2 (29.5%) were the predominant phage types. Using PFGE with the enzyme XbaI, a total of 41 patterns with at least 80% similarity were identified, and seven clusters with identical profiles were established. Some of the clusters were further split by PFGE using BlnI as the second enzyme. Isolates with indistinguishable PFGE patterns were with one exception also indistinguishable by phage typing and stx genotyping. These findings confirmed that some isolates were genetically related. However, no epidemiological linkages were identified. STEC strains with different genotypes and belonging to diverse serotypes were isolated in Argentina. Some STEC O157 strains could not be distinguished by applying subtyping techniques such as PFGE and phage typing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is an increasingly recognized cause of diarrhea in children in developing and developed countries. EAEC is recognized by a characteristic aggregative pattern of adherence to human epithelial (HEp-2) cells cultured in vitro. This is the gold standard assay. The aggregative phenotype is associated with the presence of a 65 MDa plasmid (pAA) that also encodes several other putative virulence factors, such as the aggregative adherence fimbria I (AAF/I) and the enteroaggregative heat-stable enterotoxin (EAST1). The objective of this work was to evaluate the application of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to identify EAEC strains in cases of acute diarrhea. A total of 87 E. coli strains, isolated from patients under 2 years of age with acute diarrhea in Mendoza, Argentina, were characterized by the reference method (HEp-2 assay), and by AAF/I- and EAST1-PCR. PCR sensitivity and specificity in comparison with the cell culture assay showed 94.4% sensitivity and 78.26% specificity. EAST1- and AAF/I-PCR could be recommended as a screening test, applicable to epidemiologic studies.
Revista Argentina de microbiología 01/2002; 34(3):167-70. · 0.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of a nine-year old boy with vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, who underwent surgery with a diagnosis of appendicitis in Mendoza and from whom a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O127:H21 strain was recovered. Forty-eight hours after surgery he presented bilious vomiting and two episodes of intestinal bleeding. Laboratory findings included: hematocrit, 35%; blood urea nitrogen, 0.22 g/L. The urinary output was normal. The following day physical examination showed an alert mildly hydrated child, without fever but with distended and painful abdomen. The patient was again submitted to surgery with a diagnosis of intestinal occlusion. Bleeding and multiple adhesions in jejunum and ileum were found. The patient still had tense and painful abdomen and presented two bowel movements with blood; hematocrit fell to 29% and blood urea nitrogen rose to 0.32 g/L. STEC O127:H21 eae(-)/Stx2/Stx2vh-b(+)/E-Hly(+) was isolated from a stool sample. He was discharged after 10 days of hospitalization and no long-term complications such as HUS or TTP were observed. This is the first report, to our knowledge, on the isolation of E. coli O127:H21, carrying the virulence factors that characterize STEC strains, associated to an enterohemorrhagic colitis case. This serotype was previously characterized as a non-classic enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). STEC infections can mimic infectious or noninfectious pathologies. Therefore an important aspect of clinical management is making the diagnosis using different criteria thereby avoiding misdiagnoses which have occasionally led to invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures or the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has been associated with pathogenesis of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) worldwide. The aim of the present study was to characterize the HUS cases reported in Mendoza and to determine their association with STEC infection. From July 1994 through June 1996 thirty-six patients with HUS were admitted to Hospital Pediátrico "Dr. HJ Notti" (Mean age 22.8 +/- 14.9 months, 44% females). The children developed HUS following an acute diarrheal illness in 94.4% of the cases. Bloody diarrhea was observed in 83.3% of them. Antimicrobial therapy had been administered to 69.4% of the patients. Most of the patients were well-nourished (88.9%), belong to middle-low socioeconomical condition (91.7%), from urban areas (72.2%) and they were mostly assisted during summer and the beginning of autumn. The acute stage of the disease occurred with presentation of pallor (100%), edema (25%), anuria (38.9%), oliguria (41.7%), hemolytic anemia (97.2%), thrombocytopenia (86.1%) and neurological involvement (41.7%). Twenty-five of them presented the full clinical syndrome. Peritoneal dialysis were performed in 50% and packed blood cell transfusion in 88.9%. The mean days of hospitalization was 15.1 +/- 9.2 [range 1-32]. A 91.7% of the patients recovered renal function, two developed chronic renal failure and one died. Cumulative evidence of STEC infection was found in 19 (86.4%) of 22 HUS patients. STEC O157:H7, biotype C was found in 8 (36.4%). The prevalent Stx type was Stx2 in STEC, free fecal Stx (STMF) and Stx-neutralizing antibodies (a-Stx). In Mendoza, as in the rest of Argentina E. coli O157:H7, biotype C, Stx2 producer is the most frequently detected pathogen in HUS cases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: E. coli strains are the major bacterial cause of diarrhea among children under 2 years of age residing in Mendoza, Argentina. Detection of diarrheogenic E. coli is made after coproculture, by agglutination tests using O-group antisera including most enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) serogroups and others often isolated in diarrhea. Although there are many O serogroups and H serotypes of E. coli strongly associated with infantile diarrhea, a number of studies have shown differences in the rate of isolation of EPEC between cases and controls using DNA probes. We compared the diagnosis of EPEC infections by traditional serogrouping tests with other detection methods using cell culture, involving the screening of isolates for adherence patterns to HEp-2 cells. A total of 140 isolates from children less than 24 months old with acute, persistent and chronic diarrhea and 40 isolates from controls were recovered. Three distinct patterns of adherence, termed localised (LA), diffuse (DA) and aggregative (EAgg) adherence were found. The fluorescence actin staining assay was used as indicative of the ability of some EPEC strains that produce attaching-effacing (A/E) lesions. Positive serogrouping strains were strongly associated with adherence (P = 0.0001). LA adherence pattern occurred in 11% of cases with acute diarrhea associated with these serogroups (P = 0.001) and children under 12 months (P = 0.0001). The FAS test was positive in 80% of them. EAgg adherence was found only in patients (20% P = 0.0001) and DA occurred both in cases (29%) and controls (2.5% P = 0.0001). Diagnosis of EPEC infections has traditionally been performed by identifying organisms belonging to a number of serogroups or serotypes epidemiologically linked to diarrhea. Evidence is presented in this paper to show that pathogenicity is not restricted to serogroups. Isolation of many adherent strains not belonging to traditional EPEC O serogroups, shows the need for alternative methods to be used to detect and identify E. coli.
Revista Argentina de microbiología 01/1998; 30(1):13-9. · 0.80 Impact Factor