A prospective study of acute diarrhoea was performed during 15 months 1981/1982 and included 731 patients and 240 controls. 43% had been infected abroad. A cluster of travellers with bacterial pathogens was diagnosed in July-August. The following pathogens were found: Campylobacter (18%), enterotoxigenic E. coli (6%), Salmonella spp. (5%), rotavirus (4%), Yersinia enterocolitica (3%), Giardia lamblia (3%), Shigella spp. (2%), Clostridium difficile (2%), enteroviruses (2%) and Entamoeba histolytica (less than 1%). More than 90% of the bacterial or parasitic enteropathogens were detected in the first stool sample. Only 10% of the patients needed hospital treatment and for 97% oral fluids were sufficient. The median duration of diarrhoea was 9 days. No fatal cases occurred and only 2 cases of chronic bowel disease were detected.
Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen and a skin commensal that is today also common in the infant gut flora. We examine the role of S. aureus virulence factors for gut colonization. S. aureus isolated from quantitative stool cultures of 49 Swedish infants followed from birth to 12 months of age were assessed for 30 virulence-associated genes, spa type, and agr allele by serial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Strains carrying genes encoding collagen-binding protein, and the superantigens S. aureus enterotoxin O/M (SEO/SEM) had higher stool counts than strains lacking these genes, whereas genes for S. aureus enterotoxin A (SEA) were associated with low counts. A cluster of strains belonging to agr allele I and the spa clonal cluster 630 (spa-CC 630) that carried genes encoding SEO/SEM, SEC, collagen-binding protein, and elastin-binding protein were all long-time colonizers. Thus, certain S. aureus virulence factors might promote gut colonization.
In a prospective 1-year study, 144 children attending or admitted to hospital and 272 children outside hospital with acute gastro-enteritis and 200 controls were investigated by a broad panel of diagnostic methods for enteropathogenic agents in the faeces and for related antibody responses. Enteropathogens were identified in 77% of the inpatients, 63% of the outpatients and 8% of the controls. Rotavirus and Yersinia enterocolitica were detected significantly more often among inpatients. Altogether, viral, bacterial and parasitic agents were found in 58%, 14% and 1% of diarrhoeal patients, respectively. The isolation of more than one pathogenic agent was uncommon (6.5%). Rotavirus (45%) and enteric adenoviruses 40 and 41 (7.9%) predominated among the viruses, while Campylobacter jejuni (4.8%) was most common among the bacteria. Clostridium difficile and/or its cytotoxin, which were found in 14% of the children with gastroenteritis and in 15% of the controls, were significantly associated with antibiotic therapy but not with gastro-intestinal illness. Diarrhoeal infections of unknown aetiology exhibited a seasonal peak in the autumn. The duration of excretion of enteropathogens was investigated. Rotavirus particles were detectable by solid-phase immune electron microscopy for 14-25 days after the diarrhoea had ceased. Transmission of rotavirus and bacterial pathogens within families was studied also.
BACKGROUND: Few data exist regarding the epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infections in aboriginal, including the First Nations (Indian) or Inuit (Eskimo) populations of North America. We have previously found 95% of the adults in Wasagamack, a First Nations community in Northeastern Manitoba, Canada, are seropositive for H. pylori. We aimed to determine the age at acquisition of H. pylori among the children of this community, and if any association existed with stool occult blood or demographic factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively enrolled children resident in the Wasagamack First Nation in August 1999. A demographic questionnaire was administered. Stool was collected, frozen and batch analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for H. pylori antigen and for the presence of occult blood. Questionnaire data were analyzed and correlated with the presence or absence of H. pylori. RESULTS: 163 (47%) of the estimated 350 children aged 6 weeks to 12 years, resident in the community were enrolled. Stool was positive for H. pylori in 92 (56%). By the second year of life 67% were positive for H. pylori. The youngest to test positive was 6 weeks old. There was no correlation of a positive H. pylori status with gender, presence of pets, serum Hgb, or stool occult blood. Forty-three percent of H. pylori positive and 24% of H. pylori negative children were
Previous research on H. pylori epidemiology has mostly focused on adult populations. We have aimed to study H. pylori prevalence in all age groups including children and adolescents and to identify potential routes of transmission.
Subjects from all age groups (children 0-11 years, adolescents 12-17 years and adults =18 years of age), recruited from both an urban and a rural community in Northern Norway, were invited to provide stool samples for the diagnosis of H. pylori antigen and to fill in a questionnaire (adult and adolescents only) on gastrointestinal symptoms, lifestyle factors and biometric data.
A total of 1 624 (35.3%) of the invited subjects, including 173 (39.3%) of the children, 46 (19.2%) of the adolescents, and 1 416 (36.1%) of the adults, responded to the invitation. H. pylori infection was nearly undetectable (0.6%) among the children, whereas the prevalence increased from 20% in adolescents toward a peak of 45% in the highest age group. Univariate analyses of possible risk factors of H. pylori infection showed significant associations to private well water, the use of outhouse toilet, and having farm animals in childhood, but the associations waned in multivariate analyses.
In our populations, with apparent high hygienic standards, the transmission of H. pylori infection may start not only in childhood, but also in adolescence, where potential transmission routes may be outdoor toilet use, private well water, and farm animals.
BACKGROUND: Early colonization with bifidobacteria and lactobacilli is postulated to protect children from allergy, while Clostridium (C.) difficile colonization might be associated with allergic disease. Previous studies of infant gut microbiota in relation to subsequent allergy development have mostly employed culture-dependent techniques, studied genera of bacteria and the follow-up period was limited to 2 years. OBJECTIVE: To relate gut microbiota in early infancy, notably bifidobacteria and lactobacilli at species level, to allergy development during the first 5 years of life and study if environmental factors influence the early infant gut microbiota. METHODS: Fecal samples were collected at 1 week, 1 month and 2 months after birth from 47 Swedish infants, followed prospectively to 5 years of age. Bacterial DNA was analysed with real-time PCR and related to allergy development, family size as well as endotoxin and Fel d 1 levels in house dust samples. Primers binding to C. difficile, four species of bifidobacteria, two lactobacilli groups and Bacteroides fragilis were used. Children regarded as allergic manifested allergic symptoms and were skin prick test positive during their first 5 years while non-allergic children were neither. RESULTS: Children who developed allergy were significantly less often colonized with lactobacilli group I (Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus, L. casei, L. paracasei), Bifidobacterium adolescentis and C. difficile during their first 2 months. Infants colonized with several Bifidobacterium species had been exposed to higher amounts of endotoxin and grew up in larger families than infants harbouring few species. CONCLUSION: A more diverse gut microbiota early in life might prevent allergy development and may be related to the previously suggested inverse relationship between allergy, family size and endotoxin exposure.
Laboratori de Microbiologia Sanitaria i Mediambiental & Aquasost - UNESCO Chair in Sustainability, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Edifici Gaia, Pg. Ernest Lluch/Rambla Sant Nebridi, Terrassa - 08222, Barcelona, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture-based methods for fecal indicator microorganisms are the standard protocol to assess potential health risk from drinking water systems. However, these traditional fecal indicators are inappropriate surrogates for disinfection-resistant fecal pathogens and the indigenous pathogens that grow in drinking water systems. There is now a range of molecular-based methods, such as quantitative PCR, which allow detection of a variety of pathogens and alternative indicators. Hence, in addition to targeting total Escherichia coli (i.e., dead and alive) for the detection of fecal pollution, various amoebae may be suitable to indicate the potential presence of pathogenic amoeba-resisting microorganisms, such as Legionellae. Therefore, monitoring amoeba levels by quantitative PCR could be a useful tool for directly and indirectly evaluating health risk and could also be a complementary approach to current microbial quality control strategies for drinking water systems.