, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 85-90

A 5-year study of the bacterial pathogens associated with acute diarrhea on the island of Crete, Greece, and their resistance to antibiotics

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During a 5-year period (1995–1999) a total of 7090 stool samples obtained from patients with acute diarrhoea, mostly community-acquired, were examined for bacterial pathogens, in the Greek island of Crete. One or more enteric pathogens were isolated from 987 patients (14%). Salmonella enterica were the most commonly isolated bacteria (6%), followed by Campylobacter spp. (4.2%), and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) (1.8%). Yersinia enterocolitica (0.6%), Shigella spp. (0.3%), and Aeromonas hydrophila (0.04%), were less frequently isolated. Clostridium difficile was isolated from 65 out of 451 diarrhoeal specimens examined (14.4%). Toxin B was detected in all cases. No verotoxigenic E. coli strains were identified. Resistance to ampicillin was observed in 31.5% of the Salmonella, 58.3% of the Shigella and 31.5% of the EPEC isolates. Resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was observed in 4.4% of the Salmonella, 30.5% of the Shigella, and 18.5% of the EPEC isolates. High percentages of resistance to quinolones (44.5% to norfloxacin, and 40.5% to ciprofloxacin), were found among Campylobacter isolates, while resistance to erythromycin was observed in 14.9% of them. With the present study we continue the surveillance of bacterial pathogens associated with diarrhoeal disease on the island of Crete.