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Molecular Characterization of Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli from Libya

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  • Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; Clinical Trials Program, United States Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) are important enteric pathogens that cause a wide variety of gastrointestinal diseases, particularly in children. Escherichia coli isolates cultured from 243 diarrheal stool samples obtained from Libyan children and 50 water samples were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for genes characteristic of enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), and enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC). The DEC were detected in 21 (8.6%) children with diarrhea; 10 (4.1%) cases were identified as EAEC, 3 (1.2%) as EPEC, and 8 (3.3%) were ETEC; EHEC, and EIEC were not detected. All DEC were grouped phylogenetically by PCR with the majority (> 70%) identified as phylogenetic groups A and B1. The EAEC isolates were also tested for eight genes associated with virulence using PCR. Multi-virulence (≥ 3 virulence factors) was found in 50% of EAEC isolates. Isolated EAEC possessed different virulence traits and belonged to different phylogenetic groups indicating their heterogeneity.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Khalifa Sifaw Ghenghesh, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli-Libya. E-mail: ghenghesh_micro@yahoo.com

Authors' addresses: Mostafa Mohamed M. Ali and Zienat Kamel Mohamed, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, E-mails: mustafa_benali@yahoo.co.uk and rashabassyoni@yahoo.com. Tarek A. A. Moussa, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science (North Jeddah), King AbdulAziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia, E-mail: tarekmicro2011@yahoo.com. John D. Klena, US CDC-IEIP, USA, E-mail: paua4t@yahoo.com. Salwa Fouad Ahmed, Clinical Trials Program, United States Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: salwafouad7@gmail.com. Khalifa Sifaw Ghenghesh, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya, E-mail: ghenghesh_micro@yahoo.com.

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