Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) is one of the main causes of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated the prevalence, serotypes and antibiotic resistance patterns of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) among diarrheal children in rural Burkina Faso. Stool specimens were collected from 280 children under 5 years of age visiting hospital due to acute diarrhea between July 2009 and June 2010. E. coli isolates were subjected to serotyping and their susceptibility to 9 antimicrobial agents was determined by the disc diffusion method. Sixty patients (21.4%) had DEC of which 54 strains (19.3%) belonged to EPEC O serogroups and six (2.1%) to EHEC O157 serotype. A higher rate of EPEC (91.6%) was found in patients aged less than 2 years. More than 70% of E. coli isolates were resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and 28.3% to nalidixic acid. Twenty three (38.3%) of the isolated E. coli were ESBL producers with higher prevalence (56.5%) in children under 12 months of age. This study stresses the public health importance of diarrheal E. coli with serotypes of EPEC and EHEC O157 and their resistance to antibiotics in Burkina Faso.
Key words: Escherichia coli serotypes, antibiotics resistance, diarrheal children, Burkina Faso.
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