High prevalence of multidrug-resistantEscherichia coliisolates from children with and without diarrhoea and their susceptibility to the antibacterial activity of extracts/fractions of fruits native to Mexico

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This paper aims to evaluate the antimicrobial resistance of Esherichia coli isolates from children under 5 years old, with and without diarrhoea, who were hospital outpatients in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. It also looks at the antimicrobial activity of fruit extracts against selected multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli strains.


A total of 205 E. coli isolates from stool samples were collected from 94 children under 5 years old who were outpatients from two hospitals in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, during the autumn/winter of 2003/04; their resistance profiles to 19 commercial antimicrobials were investigated using the Kirby-Bauer method. The antibacterial activities of extracts/fractions of fruits (i.e. uvalama, Vitex mollis; ayale, Crescentia alata; and arrayan, Psidium sartorianum) were evaluated using the broth microdilution method.


All E. coli isolates were susceptible to amikacin, nitrofurantoin and meropenem, and approximately 96% were resistant to at least one antimicrobial, especially carbenicillin (93.2%), cefuroxime sodium (53.7%), ampicillin (40%) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (35.1%). Likewise, the frequency of MDR strains (44.9%) was high, and no significant association with diarrhoea symptoms was found. Remarkably, all fruit extracts/fractions showed antibacterial activity against some, but not all, MDR isolates. The lowest minimal inhibitory concentration values were for the hexane fraction of arrayan (0.25 mg ml−1).


A high number of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli (especially to β-lactams and sulfonamides) and MDR isolates were detected in children under 5 years old, irrespective of diarrhoea symptoms; this is novel information for Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Moreover, our results showed that the studied fruit extracts/fractions are potential alternative or complementary treatments for MDR E. coli strains.

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