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Prevalence of EHEC O157:H7 in patients with diarrhoea in Lagos, Nigeria

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The prevalence of sorbitol-nonfermenting Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) was assessed in 100 patients with diarrhoea by stool culture on sorbitol MacConkey agar. The cytotoxicity of the EHEC strains was analysed by Vero cell assay and the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the isolates was determined. Detection rate of EHEC O157:H7 was 6%. Five of the six patients were males. Three of the isolates were from children and one was from a teenager. All strains induced cytotoxic effects in the Vero cell assay. All isolates were susceptible to most of the antimicrobials tested.

The results showed that diarrhoea caused by EHEC O157:H7, a potentially life-threatening pathogen, has remained common particularly among the child population of Lagos during the past 10 years (5). There must therefore be adequate meat and food inspection to improve the general hygiene of local fast food restaurants, so-called ‘bukkas’, which are regarded as likely sources of infection.

Keywords: EHEC O157:H7; Lagos; Vero cell assay; antimicrobial susceptibility

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, 2: Genetics Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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