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Heterogeneity of Campylobacter species isolated from serial stool specimens of Egyptian children using pulsed field gel electrophoresis

Author(s): Atef M. El-Gendy | Momtaz O. Wasfy | Adel M. Mansour | Buhari Oyofo | Marwa M. Yousry | John D. Klena

Journal: African Journal of Laboratory Medicine
ISSN 2225-2002

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Background: The genus Campylobacter spp. is a common cause of human acute bacterial enteritis and travellersf diarrhoea worldwide.Objective: To determine whether multiple serial isolations of Campylobacter spp., when obtained from a single child, represented the same or a different organism.Methods: In a birth cohort study conducted in Egypt, numerous children showed serialisolations of Campylobacter spp. Of these, 13 children were selected from different households based on the successive isolation of six or more Campylobacter isolates from stool samples.Results: Eighty isolates were recovered and identified as either Campylobacter coli (n = 25) or Campylobacter jejuni (n = 55). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed the presence of 38 unique C. jejuni and 24 C. coli profiles at a similarity level of . 90%. Although no seriallyidentical isolates were detected in six children, others demonstrated at least one identical couple of isolates; all identified serially between one to six weeks. Two children demonstrated > 80% similar couples of isolates that appeared seven months apart. PFGE could be a useful tool for differentiating reinfection, relapse and convalescent excretion phases.Conclusion: Our data suggest that Campylobacter infection in children is a complex process;children are exposed to multiple species in endemic environments and strains of the samebacterium appear to be shed serially between one to six weeks after the first exposure. Isolates that persisted for longer periods were relatively less similar, as shown from the results of this study.

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