Potential Diarrheal Pathogens Common Also in Healthy Children in Angola

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Abstract

Background:

Globally, diarrhea kills almost 1500 children daily. In diagnostics, molecular methods are replacing traditional assays. We aimed to investigate enteropathogens in children with and without diarrhea in Luanda, the capital of Angola.

Methods:

One hundred and ninety-four stool samples from 98 children with acute diarrhea and 96 children without diarrhea were investigated for 17 enteropathogens with multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results:

The median age of children was 10.5 months. Enteropathogens, bacteria, viruses and parasites were detected in 91%, 78%, 50% and 25%, respectively. A positive finding was significantly (P = 0.003) more common in diarrhea when testing for all pathogens combined, for bacteria alone and for viruses alone. More than one pathogen was found more frequently in diarrhea than in non-diarrhea stool samples, in 87% and in 59% (P < 0.0001), respectively. The median number (interquartile range) of pathogens detected was 3 (2) versus 1.5 (2; P < 0.0001), respectively. When age was taken into account, diarrhea was found to be associated with enterotoxigenic and enteroaggregative Escherichia coli, Shigella, Campylobacter, rotavirus, sapovirus and Cryptosporidium.

Conclusions:

Multiplex polymerase chain reaction detected enteropathogens in almost all stool samples of children in Luanda, albeit this occurred more often in diarrhea. Children with diarrhea showed more mixed infections than children without diarrhea.

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