Prevalence and antibiotic resistance profile of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheal samples
Background and Objectives: Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) causes bloody and non-bloody diarrhea, intestinal infection and extraintestinal complications in humans. This study aimed to isolate and evaluate the prevalence of E. coli O157: H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and identify the virulence genes (stx1, stx2, hly and eaeA) from patients with diarrhea. Also, the antibiotic resistance profile of the isolated strains was evaluated.
Materials and Methods: A total of 100 stool samples were collected from patients with acute diarrhea referring to the hospital and clinics in Isfahan County, Iran. Phenotypic tests and PCR assay were used for detection of E. coli O157: H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. The presence of virulence genes (stx1, stx2, hly and eaeA) were identified by PCR. The antibiotic resistance profile of the isolates was determined using the agar disk diffusion method. The results were analyzed descriptively by Sigma stat version 4 software.
Results: Seventy - eight out of 100 samples (78%) were contaminated with E. coli. E. coli O157 was isolated from five samples (6.4%), of which only two strains (2.56%) were identified as E. coli O157: H7. According to the results, out of two E. coli O157: H7 isolates, one (50%) isolate contained eaeA and two isolates (100%) contained Stx1, Stx2, hlyA genes. Out of three (3.84%) E. coli O157: HN, one of the isolate (33.3%) contained stx1 and, two isolates (66.7%) were positive for hlyA genes. Also, the results revealed that six strains (7.69%) were non-O157: H7 STEC, of which two isolates (33.3%) contained stx1 and four isolates (66.7%) were positive for stx2 and hlyA genes. The results of antibiogram tests revealed that all of the STEC isolates (100%) were sensitive to imipenem followed by kanamycin, gentamicin and nitrofurantoin (91%). High resistance (54.5%) to ampicillin and ciprofloxacin was observed among the STEC isolates.
Conclusion: The results of the current study showed that although the prevalence of E. coli O157: H7 was low among patients with diarrhea, the other STEC strains with relative resistance to antibiotics are more prevalent.
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