Epidemiology and Infection

Other Gastroenteritis

Genetic diversity and antibiotic resistance in Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella boydii strains isolated from children aged <5 years in Egypt

A. M. EL-GENDYa1, A. MANSOURa1, M. A. WEINERa1, G. PIMENTELa2, A. W. ARMSTRONGa1, S. Y. N. YOUNGa1, N. ELSAYEDa3 and J. D. KLENAa1 c1

a1 Clinical Trials and Military Studies Program, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt

a2 Global Disease Detection & Response Program, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt

a3 Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt

SUMMARY

Diversity within Shigella dysenteriae (n=40) and Shigella boydii (n=30) isolates from children living in Egypt aged <5 years was investigated. Shigella-associated diarrhoea occurred mainly in summer months and in children aged <3 years, it commonly presented with vomiting and fever. Serotypes 7 (30%), 2 (28%), and 3 (23%) accounted for most of S. dysenteriae isolates; 50% of S. boydii isolates were serotype 2. S. dysenteriae and S. boydii isolates were often resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline (42%, 17%, respectively), although resistance varied among serotypes. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis separated the isolates into distinct clusters correlating with species and serotype. Genetic differences in trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and β-lactam-encoding resistance genes were also evident. S. dysenteriae and S. boydii are genetically diverse pathogens in Egypt; the high level of multidrug resistance associated with both pathogens and resistance to the most available inexpensive antibiotics underlines the importance of continuing surveillance.

(Accepted March 06 2011)

(Online publication April 07 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Professor J. D. Klena, Unit 7300, Box 060 DPO AP 96521-0050 USA. (Email: irc4@cn.cdc.gov)

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