Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Enteroaggregative (EAEC) cause acute and persistent diarrhea, mostly in children worldwide. Outbreaks of diarrhea caused by EAEC have been described, including a large outbreak caused by a Shiga toxin expressing strain. This study investigated the association of EAEC virulence factors with diarrhea in children less than 5 years. We characterized 428 EAEC strains isolated from stool samples obtained from moderate-to-severe diarrhea cases (157) and healthy controls (217) children aged 0–59 months recruited over 3 years as part of the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) in The Gambia. Four sets of multiplex polymerase chain reaction were applied to detect 21 EAEC-virulence genes from confirmed EAEC strains that target pCVD432 (aatA) and AAIC (aaiC). In addition, Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on 88 EAEC strains following Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute guidelines. We observed that the plasmid-encoded enterotoxin [odds ratio (OR): 6.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.06–29.20, < 0.001], aggregative adherence fimbriae/I fimbriae (aggA) [OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.16–4.29, = 0.008], and hexosyltransferase (capU) [OR: 1.9, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, = 0.028] were associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea among children < 12 months old but not in the older age strata (> 12 months). Our data suggest that some EAEC-virulent factors have age-specific associations with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in infants. Furthermore, our study showed that 85% and 72% of EAEC strains tested were resistant to sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim and ampicillin, respectively. Sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim and ampicillin are among the first-line antibiotics used for the treatment of diarrhea in The Gambia.

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  • Received : 29 Aug 2016
  • Accepted : 22 May 2017
  • Published online : 07 Aug 2017

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