The role of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli in acute diarrhoeal diseases in Bandar-Abbas, Iran.
The prevalance of different types of diarrhoea-producing Escherichia coli was measured in 273 patients attending 12 out-patient clinics in Bandar-Abbas, State of Hormozgan, Iran, during March 1984. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) belonging to 12 different serogroups, of which O128 and O126 were the most common, were found in almost 31% of the patients. Enterotoxigenic strains of E. coli (ETEC) were the next most frequent group (21.9%); among these, 36 (60%) strains produced heat-stable enterotoxin (ST), 14 (23.3%) strains produced both heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and ST, and 10 (16.7%) strains produced LT only. The same pattern of toxigenicity was observed among the EPEC isolates. Ten of the 12 serogroups encountered in this study contained toxin producers, amongst which strains producing ST were dominant. Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) strains were not isolated. These findings suggest that enterotoxin-producing E. coli may be an important cause of diarrhoea in this part of Iran.