Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis - Associated diarrhea in children 0-2 years of age in rural Bangladesh

Preeti Pathela, K. Zahid Hasan, Eliza Roy, Korshed Alam, Fazlul Huq, A. Kasem Siddique, R. Bradley Sack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The burden of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF)-related diarrhea was determined in a birth cohort of 252 children in rural Bangladesh. Isolation rates of ETBF in stool and risk factors for acquisition of ETBF and disease were established. Of 382 B. fragilis-positive specimens, 14.4% of the strains found in them produced enterotoxin, as determined by a tissue-culture assay. The overall isolation rate of ETBF was 2.3% (40/1750) from diarrheal specimens and 0.3% (15/5679) from nondiarrheal specimens collected throughout the 2 years of the study (P < .001). ETBF was isolated from 20.3% (40/197) of the B. fragilis-positive diarrheal specimens and from 8.1% (15/185) of the B. fragilis-positive nondiarrheal specimens (P < .001) and was significantly associated with acute diarrheal disease in children ≥1 year of age (P = .0001). The diarrheal illness was mild in nature. In conditional multivariate analyses that examined environmental and host risk factors, the presence of livestock in the household area was linked to the acquisition of ETBF (chickens, P < .05; cows, P = .06). ETBF was found to be a small but significant contributor to diarrheal disease in this rural community. Improved management of livestock may be useful for the prevention of ETBF infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1252
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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