Prevalence of Clostridium spp. and Clostridium difficile in Children with Acute Diarrhea in São Paulo City, Brazil

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Abstract

Species of Clostridium are widely distributed in the environment, inhabiting both human and animal gastrointestinal tracts. Clostridium difficile is an important pathogen associated with outbreaks of pseudomembranous colitis and other intestinal disorders, such as diarrhea. In this study, the prevalence of Clostridium spp. and C. difficile, from hospitalized children with acute diarrhea, was examined. These children were admitted to 3 different hospitals for over 12 months. Eighteen (20%) and 19 (21%) stool specimens from children with (90) and without (91) diarrhea respectively, were positive to clostridia. Only 10 C. difficile strains were detected in 5.5% of the stool samples of children with diarrhea. None healthy children (without diarrhea) harbored C. difficile. From these 10 C. difficile, 9 were considered as toxigenic and genotyped as tcdA+/tcdB+ or tcdA-/tcdB +, and 1 strain as nontoxigenic (tcdA-/tdcB-). They were detected by the citotoxicity on VERO cells and by the multiplex-polymerase chain reaction. Thirty clinical fecal extracts produced minor alterations on VERO cells. The presence of C. difficile as a probable agent of acute diarrhea is suggested in several countries, but in this study, the presence of these organisms was not significant. More studies will be necessary to evaluate the role of clostridia or C. difficile in diarrhoeal processes in children.

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Ferreira, C. E. A., Nakano, V., Durigon, E. L., & Avila-Campos, M. J. (2003). Prevalence of Clostridium spp. and Clostridium difficile in Children with Acute Diarrhea in São Paulo City, Brazil. Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 98(4), 451–454. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762003000400003

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