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Molecular Detection and Epidemiological Features of Selected Bacterial, Viral, and Parasitic Enteropathogens in Stool Specimens from Children with Acute Diarrhea in Thi-Qar Governorate, Iraq

Harb, A., Abraham, S., Rusdi, B., Laird, T., O’Dea, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585 and Habib, I. (2019) Molecular Detection and Epidemiological Features of Selected Bacterial, Viral, and Parasitic Enteropathogens in Stool Specimens from Children with Acute Diarrhea in Thi-Qar Governorate, Iraq. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (9).

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Abstract

Knowledge of etiology causes of diarrheal illness is essential for development and implementation of public health measures to prevent and control this disease syndrome. There are few published studies examining diarrhea in children aged <5 years in Iraq. This study aims to investigate the occurrences and epidemiology of selected bacterial (Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp.), viral (adenovirus, norovirus GI and GII, and astrovirus), and parasitic (Entamoeba spp. and Giardia spp.) agents in stool samples from 155 child diarrheal cases enrolled between March and August 2017, in a hospital-based cross-sectional study in Thi-Qar, southeastern Iraq. Using molecular techniques and sequence-based characterization, adenovirus was the most frequently detected enteropathogen (53/155 (34.2%)), followed by Salmonella spp. (23/155 (14.8%)), Entamoeba spp. (21/155 (13.5%)), and Campylobacter spp. (17/155 (10.9%)). Mixed infection with Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. was evident, and the same was revealed between various enteric viruses, particularly adenovirus and norovirus. The most frequent co-infection pattern was between adenovirus and Campylobacter spp., in seven cases (7/155 (4.5%)). Whole-genome sequencing-derived typing data for Salmonella isolates (n = 23) revealed that sequence type 49 was the most prevalent in this sample set (15/23 (65.2%)). To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first report on detection and identification of floR, blaCARB-2, and mphA antimicrobial resistance genes in Salmonella isolated from children in the Middle East region. Logistic regression analysis pointed to few enteropathogen-specific correlations between child age, household water source, and breastfeeding patterns in relation to the outcome of detection of individual enteropathogens. This study presents the first published molecular investigation of multiple enteropathogens among children <5 years of age in Iraq. Our data provide supporting evidence for planning of childhood diarrhea management programs. It is important to build on this study and develop future longitudinal case-control research in order to elaborate the epidemiology of enteropathogens in childhood diarrhea in Iraq.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/45687
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