Isolation of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli from children with and without diarrhoea in Delhi and the National Capital Region, India

J Med Microbiol. 2010 Oct;59(Pt 10):1156-1162. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.014530-0. Epub 2010 Jul 15.


A total of 17 typical and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) were isolated from 396 children with and without diarrhoea. Out of 12 EPEC isolates from patients with diarrhoea, 3 (25 %) were atypical EPEC while 9 (75 %) were typical EPEC. It was observed that atypical EPEC strains had colonized the intestines of healthy children and its isolation rates were higher in healthy children than in children with diarrhoea. Interestingly all of the atypical EPEC isolates carried a megaplasmid, mostly comparable with the size of EPEC adherence factor (EAF) encoding gene but no virulence gene was detected in this megaplasmid. Studies also indicated that multidrug resistance EPEC are emerging and all the atypical EPEC strains showed significantly less resistance to all antimicrobial agents used in this study than typical EPEC. This study also supports the opinion that Shiga toxin-producing E. coli does not pose a major threat to human health in India. Subtyping analysis reveals that eae-α1, eae-β2 and eae-λ could be common EPEC subtypes prevalent in children with diarrhoea in Delhi. The present study is believed to be the first report of the detection of atypical EPEC from children without diarrhoea and records of isolation of eae-γ1, eae-γ2 and the rare eae-λ subtype in India. The data also indicated that typical EPEC are a common cause of diarrhoea and atypical EPEC are emerging as colonizers of the intestine of children with and without diarrhoea in Delhi and the National Capital Region, India.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / classification
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plasmids
  • Prevalence
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology
  • Virulence Factors / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Virulence Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/FJ660912
  • GENBANK/FJ660913
  • GENBANK/FJ660914
  • GENBANK/FJ660915
  • GENBANK/FJ660916
  • GENBANK/FJ666093
  • GENBANK/FJ666094
  • GENBANK/FJ666095
  • GENBANK/FJ666096
  • GENBANK/FJ666595
  • GENBANK/FJ666596