Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We report the use of seven acetylaminofluorene (AAF)-labeled DNA probes in evaluating the incidence of various pathotypes in New Caledonia among 448 children with acute diarrhea (1,278 pathotypes studied) and 88 controls (264 pathotypes studied) in 1990. Diarrheogenic were detected using cloned gene probes for heat-labile and heat-stable enterotoxins, Shiga-like cytotoxins (SLTI and SLTII), the cell invasion phenotype (INV), and enteropathogenic-adherence factor (EAF). Isolates were also studied using bioassays and radioactive DNA probes as reference methods. Enterotoxigenic (ETEC) were isolated from only 5.36% of the patients; with localized adherence (LA) to HEp-2 cells was much more common in patients (14.4%) than in controls (3.4%; = 7.54, < 0.01), but most of the with an LA pattern were members of traditional enteropathogenic (EPEC) serogroups ( = 92.95, < 0.001). Non-enteropathogenic with an LA pattern were weakly associated with diarrheal disease (8.9%). with a diffuse or an aggregative pattern did not show a significant association with infantile diarrhea. Eight EPEC serogroups were identified and the frequency of positivity for the LA pattern was 70.5%; the EAF was significantly associated with the 0119:K9 serogroup. No enteroinvasive or SLT-producing were identified. An evaluation of the AAF probes in comparison with P-labeled probes and conventional bioassays was made during this epidemiologic survey. The positive and negative predictive values of the ETEC probes were 0.91 and 1, respectively (overall agreement = 99.8%). The positive and negative predictive values of the EAF probe were both 1. No false positive results were observed using AAF INV, SLTI, and SLTII probes. Furthermore, all AAF probes were controlled on 95 nondiarrheogenic and well-characterized enteropathogenic strains, and all strains were correctly identified.


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