1887

Abstract

A large proportion of diarrhoeal illnesses in children in developing countries are ascribed to an unknown aetiology because the only available methods, such as microscopy and culture, have low sensitivity. This study was aimed at decreasing the diagnostic gap in diarrhoeal disease by the application of molecular techniques. Faecal samples from 158 children with and 99 children without diarrhoea in a hospital in South India were tested for enteric pathogens using conventional diagnostic methods (culture, microscopy and enzyme immunoassays) and molecular methods (six PCR-based assays). The additional use of molecular techniques increased identification to at least one aetiological agent in 76.5 % of diarrhoeal specimens, compared with 40.5 % using conventional methods. Rotavirus (43.3 %), enteropathogenic (15.8 %), norovirus (15.8 %) and spp. (15.2 %) are currently the most common causes of diarrhoea in hospitalized children in Vellore, in contrast to a study conducted two decades earlier in the same hospital, where bacterial pathogens such as spp., spp. and enterotoxigenic were more prevalent. Molecular techniques significantly increased the detection rates of pathogens in children with diarrhoea, but a more intensive study, testing for a wider range of infectious agents and including more information on non-infectious causes of diarrhoea, is required to close the diagnostic gap in diarrhoeal disease.

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2008-11-01
2019-10-14
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