The prevalence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli both in an ambulatory patients passing out loose stools with or without blood and/or mucus in Anua General Hospital, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and University of Uyo Health Centre from June to September, 2008 were determined using standard microbiological techniques. Susceptibility to seven different conventional and commonly available chemotherapeutic drugs/antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamycin, tetracycline, cephalothin and ofloxacin were assessed using a disc diffusion technique (DDT). The macroscopic analysis of the stool samples showed that 31 of the 100 cases (31%) were diarrhea bloody and 33% mucoid. Sixty-nine diarrheagenic E. coli were isolated from 100 stool samples collected and were more prevalent in females (69.4%) than in males (30.6%). The observed percentage prevalence of diarrheagenic E. coli among the age groups (in years) 1 -15, 16 - 30, 31 - 45, 46 - 60 and 61 and above were 95, 80, 55, 70 and 45%, respectively. The results of antibiotic susceptibility showed that the E. coli were highly resistant to ampicillin (73.9%), tetracycline (75.4%) and gentamycin (68.1%), and moderately resistant to chloramphenicol (46.4 %) and cephalothin (43.5%), but highly sensitive to ciprofloxacin (71.0%) and ofloxacin (66.7%). The findings of this study showed ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin to be drugs of choice for the treatment of diarrheagenic E. coli, while ampicillin, tetracycline and gentamycin should not be used without first performing culture and sensitivity tests.
Key words: Diarrheagenic, Escherichia coli, prevalence, chemotherapy, susceptibility.
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