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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 778-784

Characterization of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from cases of diarrhoea & haemolytic uremic syndrome in north India


1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Advanced Pediatric Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Neelam Taneja
Additional Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research. Chandigarh 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 25758577

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Background & objectives: Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an important zoonotic foodborne pathogen, capable of causing haemorrhagic colitis (HC) and haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). As data from India on human infections caused by STEC are limited, this study was carried out for hospital based surveillance for STEC as a causative agent of diarrhoea, bloody diarrhoea and HUS at a tertiary care centre and to study the virulence gene profile and strain relatedness by multi locus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Methods: A total of 600 stool samples were studied. Stool samples of every fifth patient presenting with non-bloody diarrhoea, all cases of bloody diarrhoea and diarrhoea associated HUS (D+HUS) were collected from October 2009 to September 2011. Stool samples were cultured for STEC and characterization of STEC was done by serogrouping, virulence genes analysis, and MLVA typing. Results: STEC were isolated as a sole pathogen from 11 stool samples [5 of 290 (1.7%) non-blood diarrhoea and 5 of 300 (1.6%) blood diarrhoea cases]. STEC was also isolated from one fatal case of HUS who was an eight month old child. Only six of 11 isolates were positive for stx2 gene, whereas stx1 was present in all 11 isolates. Only one isolate was positive for eae. Other adhesion genes present were iha in five isolates, followed by toxB and efa1 in two each and saa gene in one, isolate. Among the plasmid encoded genes, espP, hly and etpD were each present in one isolate each. In the MLVA typing, diverse profiles were obtained except two untypeable isolates from different patients shared the same MLVA profile. Both these isolates were not epidemiologically linked. Interpretation & conclusions: This study demonstrated that STEC could be a causative agent of diarrhoea, bloody diarrhoea and sporadic HUS. However, further work needs to be done to study and explore the prevalence of these organisms in the food chain in this region.


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