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Global burden of diarrheal diseases among children in developing countries: Incidence, etiology, and insights from new molecular diagnostic techniques.

Vaccine 2017 December 15
The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) demonstrated that Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) producing heat stable toxin (ST) (either alone or in combination with heat labile toxin) are among the most important pathogens associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in children younger than 5years of age living in developing countries. To inform the design of vaccines and other interventions, we reviewed published data and new results from GEMS characterizing the burden of Shigella and ST-ETEC infections. Clinical parameters were assessed to examine the value of various case definitions as indicators of MSD associated with Shigella and ST-ETEC for use in clinical trials. We discussed advantages and disadvantages of culture-based and culture-independent molecular diagnostics for detecting clinically and epidemiologically relevant disease. Shigella serotyping data from GEMS were examined to identify desirable components of Shigella and ETEC vaccines likely to confer broad protection. These findings can inform the development and implementation of vaccines to prevent these important infections among infants and children in developing countries.

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