In April 1994, was isolated from five infants with watery diarrhoea in Arequipa, Peru, as part of a passive cholera surveillance system. The children ranged in age from 11 to 20 months and had acute diarrhoea, with two cases showing moderate dehydration. Two children also had traces of blood in liquid stool. The children were seen at two different hospitals, and no evidence of a common source of infection was found. No additional isolates were identified in the remaining surveillance period that covered the rest of 1994 and 1995. However, stool samples were not screened for enteric pathogens other than vibrios. strains isolated from stool samples produced opaque and translucent colonies on agar plates, suggesting capsular material. All isolates were resistant to ampicillin, erythromycin and streptomycin. Plasmid analysis revealed a common 200-kb plasmid in isolates from all cases and an additional 2.7-kb plasmid in three of the isolates. Ribotyping of each isolate after restriction with /I and III endonucleases demonstrated identical ribotyping patterns. The cases reported suggest that may be associated with diarrhoea in man by mechanisms so far unknown.


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