The Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 46–52 | Cite as

Occurrence and antimicrobial drug susceptibility patterns of commensal and diarrheagenic Escherichia coli in fecal microbiota from children with and without acute diarrhea

  • Patrícia G. Garcia
  • Vânia L. Silva
  • Cláudio G. DinizEmail author


Acute diarrhea is a public health problem and an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries. The etiology is varied, and the diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes are among the most important. Our objectives were to determine the occurrence of commensal and diarrheagenic E. coli strains in fecal samples from children under five years old and their drug susceptibility patterns. E. coli were isolated from 141 fresh fecal samples; 84 were obtained from clinically injured donors with acute diarrhea (AD) and 57 from clinically healthy donors without diarrhea (WD). Presumptive phenotypic species identification was carried out and confirmed by amplification of specific 16S ribosomal RNA encoding DNA. Multiplex PCR was performed to characterize the diarrheagenic E. coli strains. Drug susceptibility patterns were determined by the disc-diffusion method. In total, 220 strains were recovered from the fecal specimens (61.8% from AD and 38.2% from WD). Diarrheagenic E. coli was identified at a rate of 36.8% (n=50) in diarrheic feces and 29.8% (n=25) in non-diarrheic feces. Enteroaggregative E. coli was the most frequently identified pathotype in the AD group (16.2%) and the only pathotype identified in the WD group (30.9%). Enteropathogenic E. coli was the second most isolated pathotype (10.3%), followed by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (7.4%) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (2.9%). No enteroinvasive E. coli strains were recovered. The isolates showed high resistance rates against ampicillin, tetracycline, and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim. The most effective drugs were ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, imipenem and piperacillin-tazobactam, for which no resistance was observed. Differentiation between the diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes is of great importance since they are involved in acute diarrheal diseases and may require specific antimicrobial chemotherapy. The high antimicrobial resistance observed in our study raises a broad discussion on the indiscriminate or improper use of antimicrobials, besides the risks of self-medication.


acute diarrhea E. coli drug resistance 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrícia G. Garcia
    • 1
  • Vânia L. Silva
    • 1
  • Cláudio G. Diniz
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Bacterial Physiology and Molecular Genetics, Department of Parasitology, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biological SciencesFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de Fora/MGBrazil

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