Phenotypic and genetic characterization of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and entero-aggregative E. coli (EAEC) from diarrhoeal and non-diarrhoeal children in Libya.

Original article


Dow MA, Toth I, Malik A, Herpay M, Nogrady N, Ghenghesh KS, Nagy B

Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2006 Mar-May;29(2-3):100-13.


A total of 50 Escherichia coli strains isolated in a Libyan hospital (20 from children with diarrhoea and 30 from healthy children) were investigated for their pathotypes and virulence traits. Altogether nine eae-positive (enteropathogenic E. coli, EPEC) and nine aggR-positive (entero-aggregative E. coli, EAEC) strains were identified. Significantly (P=0.001) more EPEC strains were identified from diarrhoeal patients (n=8) than from healthy controls (n=1), while six EAEC strains were identified from diarrhoeal and three from healthy children. Typical (eae(+), EAF(+), bfp(+)) EPEC strains (n=6) belonged to classical EPEC serogroups O55, O114, O127 and showed localized adherence on Hela cells. EAEC strains revealed genetic heterogeneity but uniformly adhered to HeLa cultures in an entero-aggregative adherence pattern. Antibiotic resistance frequently, characterized the strains. Sixty-eight percentage of the strains were resistant against at least one antibiotic and 30% harbored a class 1 integron independently of their clinical background. This is the first report from North Africa demonstrating the significance of EPEC and EAEC.

Keywords: EAEC; EPEC; Diarrhoea; Libia; HeLa; Adhesion; Integrons; Antibiotic resistance