Immunomagnetic separation and PCR detection show Shigellae to be common faecal agents in children from urban marginal communities of Costa Rica
Achí Araya, María Rosario
Mata Jiménez, Leonardo
Siles Díaz, Xinia
Lindberg, Alf A.
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Culture and immunomagnetic separation-polymerase chain reaction assays (IMS-PCR) were used to isolate and identify Shigella flexneri, S. dysenteriae type I and S. sonnei in faeces from 250 children up to 5 years and from their mothers (n = 143) selected at random from a large urban marginal community of Costa Rica. Children hospitalized because of severe diarrhoea (n = 110) were also studied. Only S. flexneri, mainly serotype 2a, and S. sonnei were found by culture. All specimens in which Shigella was cultured were also positive by the corresponding IMS-PCR. S. flexneri was isolated by culture from 1 (0.7%) mother and 4 (1.6%) community children. S. sonnei was found in 2 (0.8%) children. An additional 12 S. flexneri and four S. sonnei in the community children were found by IMS-PCR. In total, Shigella was cultured from 0.7% of mothers and 2.4% of children. By the IMS-PCR 2% of mothers and 8% of children were positive. S. flexneri was isolated by culture from 14 (12.7%) hospitalized children and S. sonnei from 1 (0.9%). An additional 11 S. flexneri and three S. sonnei were found by IMS-PCR. In total, Shigella was cultured from 13.6% of hospitalized children. By the IMS-PCR 26% of them were Shigella positive. Thus IMS-PCR was more than twice as effective in diagnosing shigellae as culture. Twelve (60%) Shigella positive community children were above 3-years-old and 25% of them were under one year. Seven (35%) of the Shigella positive children had dysenteric and 9 (45%) normal stools. Half of the Shigella infected community children had been weaned before the 3 months of age. By the age of 5 months, 90% of them were already weaned. Seventeen (59%) of the hospitalized Shigella positive children were under 1 year of age. The stools were watery or semiliquid in 13 (45%) and dysenteric in 12 (41%) of them. We conclude that shigellosis is common in Costa Rica and represents an important cause of severe infant diarrhoea requiring hospitalization.
Artículo científico -- Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud. 1996. Este documento es privado debido a limitaciones de derechos de autor.