Journal of Laboratory Physicians
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-74

Etiological agents of diarrhea in hospitalized pediatric patients with special emphasis on diarrheagenic Escherichia coli in North India

1 Department of Microbiology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Integral Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
5 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
6 Department of Microbiology, Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sheetal Verma
Department of Microbiology, King George's Medical University, Chowk, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JLP.JLP_123_18

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INTRODUCTION: Infectious diarrhea is leading infectious cause of childhood morbidity, hospitalizations, and mortality particularly in children living in developing countries like India. The etiological agents differ depending on geographical area, and recent data suggest increase in drug resistance to various enteropathogens. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to investigate emerging diarrheal agents and antimicrobial resistance profile of bacterial pathogens from children (<12 years of age) hospitalized with acute diarrhea. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional, hospital-based observational study was conducted over 1 year in which 100 children <12 years who were hospitalized due to diarrhea were recruited. Diarrhea was defined as the passage of three or more liquid stools in a 24-h period using the World Health Organization guidelines. Samples were processed for detection of various bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents by standard microbiological, serological, and molecular tests. Antimicrobial resistance testing was performed with the Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion method. ELISA was performed for Rotavirus and Escherichia coli O157. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction test was performed to detect diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC). RESULTS: Pathogenic diarrheal agents were found in 63% patients. Rotavirus was identified in 52.5%, DEC in 29%, Vibrio cholerae in 4%, Shigella flexneri in 3%, Aeromonas sp. in 1%, Giardia lamblia in 4%, and Entamoeba histolytica in 1% cases. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) in 19 (65.5%) cases was the most common agent followed by Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) in 5 (17.2%), Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in 2 (6%), and Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) in 3 (10.3%) cases. Resistance rates of DEC to first-line therapeutic drugs were high, 97.3% to ampicillin and 95.95% to co-trimoxazole. DEC was susceptible to chloramphenicol in 58.11%, gentamicin in 48.19%, and amikacin in 58.11% cases. Shigella sp. and V. cholerae isolates were 100% sensitive to gentamicin and ofloxacin. CONCLUSION: EPEC is the most common DEC pathotype and EAEC, ETEC, and EIEC are also emerging as dominant diarrheal agents. Rotavirus was the most common causative agents of diarrhea especially in children <5 years. Most of the bacterial isolates showed high level of drug resistance to first-line empirical drugs and were multidrug resistant making them unsuitable for empiric treatment. Laboratory monitoring of drug susceptibility of stool isolates appears necessary to formulate antibiotic policy for treating diarrheal illness at the local level. There is an urgent need to strengthen diarrheal surveillance to monitor susceptibility to commonly prescribed antibiotics.

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