Short report: characterization of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli isolates from Iranian children.

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  • 1 Molecular Biology Unit, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran.

We have previously shown that enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is an important pathogen among Iranian infants and children. To better understand the characteristics of EAEC in Iran, we analyzed EAEC isolates for the presence of pAA plasmid-borne factors. Ninety-eight E. coli strains that displayed the aggregative adherence (AA) pattern on HeLa cells were hybridized with the CVD432 (AA) probe and with genes encoding enteroaggregative heat-stable enterotoxin-1 and aggregative adherence fimbriae (AAF) I and II. Our data suggest that AAF/II is common in this population and that AAF/I and AAF/II can sometimes be detected in the same E. coli isolate. Surprisingly, we have found that AA probe-negative strains in Iran share virulence factors with AA probe-positive isolates and therefore may be more similar to probe-positive strains than previously believed.