ABSTRACT: Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) are important enteric pathogens that cause a wide variety of gastrointestinal
diseases, particularly in children. Escherichia coli isolates cultured from 243 diarrheal stool samples obtained
from Libyan children and 50 water samples were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for genes characteristic of
enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enterohemorrhagic
E. coli (EHEC), and enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC). The DEC were detected in 21 (8.6%) children with diarrhea;
10 (4.1%) cases were identified as EAEC, 3 (1.2%) as EPEC, and 8 (3.3%) were ETEC; EHEC, and EIEC were
not detected. All DEC were grouped phylogenetically by PCR with the majority (> 70%) identified as phylogenetic
groups A and B1. The EAEC isolates were also tested for eight genes associated with virulence using PCR.
Multi-virulence (³ 3 virulence factors) was found in 50% of EAEC isolates. Isolated EAEC possessed different
virulence traits and belonged to different phylogenetic groups indicating their heterogeneity.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2012; 86(5-5):866–871. · 2.59 Impact Factor