Diarrhea burden due to natural infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in a birth cohort in a rural Egyptian community

A. Mansour*, H. I. Shaheen, M. Amine, K. Hassan, J. W. Sanders, M. S. Riddle, A. W. Armstrong, A. M. Svennerholm, P. J. Sebeny, J. D. Klena, S. Y.N. Young, R. W. Frenck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is commonly associated with diarrhea in Egyptian children. Children less than 3 years old in Abu Homos, Egypt, had approximately five diarrheal episodes per child every year, and at least one of these episodes was due to ETEC. The epidemiology of ETEC diarrhea among children living in a rural Egyptian community was further evaluated in this study. Between January 2004 and April 2007, 348 neonates were enrolled and followed for 2 years. Children were visited twice weekly, and a stool sample was obtained every 2 weeks regardless of symptomatology. A stool sample was obtained whenever a child had diarrhea. From the routine stool culture, five E. coli-like colonies were selected and screened for heat-labile and heat-stable toxins by GM1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and further typed for colonization factor antigens by dot blot assay. Incidence of ETEC infection was estimated among children with diarrhea (symptomatic) and without diarrhea (asymptomatic). Incidence of diarrhea and ETEC-associated diarrhea was 7.8 and 1.48 per child-year, respectively. High risk of repeated ETEC diarrhea was associated with being over 6 months of age, warm season, male gender, and crowded sleeping conditions. Exclusive breast-feeding was protective for repeated ETEC infection. ETEC-associated diarrhea remains common among children living in the Nile Delta. The protective role of breast-feeding demonstrates the importance of promoting exclusive breast-feeding during, at least, the first 6 months of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2595-2603
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


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