RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Etiology of outpatient pediatric nondysenteric diarrhea: a multicenter study in the United States.

BACKGROUND: Few data have been published recently on the etiology of outpatient pediatric diarrhea in the US.

METHODS: We determined the etiology of acute, nondysenteric diarrhea among 147 children between 2 and 11 years old presenting to 9 outpatient clinics in various regions of the US between August, 1991, and August, 1993. Enteropathogens were sought by conventional laboratory methods. The various diarrheagenic Escherichia coli were sought.

RESULTS: A recognized etiologic agent was detected in the stools of 89 (60.5%) children and 15 (10) patients had multiple agents detected. Rotavirus was found in 43 (29.3%) of the children, with a spring and winter peak in occurrence. Giardia lamblia was identified in 22 (15%) cases with a spring peak. HEp-2 cell-adherent E. coli were found in 15 (10.2%). Other agents found included: enteric adenovirus in 7 (4.8%); Salmonella in 5 (3.4%); enterohemorrhagic E. coli in 5 (3.4%); enteropathogenic E. coli in 2 (1.4%); enterotoxigenic E. coli in 2 (1.4%); Entamoeba histolytica in 1 (0.70%); and Campylobacter jejuni in 1 (0.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the presence of conventional enteropathogens, diarrheagenic E. coli (HEp-2 cell-adherent E. coli, enterohemorrhagic E. coli, enteropathogenic E. coli and enterotoxigenic E. coli) were associated with endemic pediatric diarrhea in the US.

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