Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections result in a significant public health impact because of the severity of the disease that, in young children especially, can lead to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). A rise in the number of HUS cases was observed in the Apulia region of Italy from 2013 to 2017, and so, in 2018, a symptom-based surveillance system for children with bloody diarrhea (BD) was initiated in order to detect and manage STEC infections. The objective of the study was to describe the epidemiology of STEC infections in children from June 2018 to August 2019. Children <15 years old with BD were hospitalized and tested for STEC. Real-time PCR for virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eae) and serogroup identification tests were performed on stool samples/rectal swabs of cases. STEC infection was detected in 87 (10.6%) BD cases. The median age of STEC cases was 2.7 years, and 60 (68.9%) were <4. Of these 87 cases, 12 (13.8%) came from households with diarrhea. The reporting rate was 14.2/100,000, with the highest incidence in cases from the province of Bari (24.2/100,000). Serogroups O26 and O111 were both detected in 22/87 (25.3%) cases. Co-infections occurred in 12.6% of cases (11/87). Twenty-nine STEC were positive for stx1, stx2, and eae. Five cases (5.7%) caused by O26 (n = 2), O111 (n = 2), and O45 (n = 1) developed into HUS. A risk-oriented approach based on the testing of children with BD during the summer may represent a potentially beneficial option to improve the sensitivity of STEC surveillance, not only in Italy but also in the context of Europe as a whole.

Epidemiology of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections in Southern Italy after Implementation of Symptom-Based Surveillance of Bloody Diarrhea in the Pediatric Population

Loconsole, Daniela;Centrone, Francesca;Accogli, Marisa;Casulli, Daniele;De Robertis, Anna;Morea, Anna;Quarto, Michele;Chironna, Maria
2020-01-01

Abstract

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections result in a significant public health impact because of the severity of the disease that, in young children especially, can lead to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). A rise in the number of HUS cases was observed in the Apulia region of Italy from 2013 to 2017, and so, in 2018, a symptom-based surveillance system for children with bloody diarrhea (BD) was initiated in order to detect and manage STEC infections. The objective of the study was to describe the epidemiology of STEC infections in children from June 2018 to August 2019. Children <15 years old with BD were hospitalized and tested for STEC. Real-time PCR for virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eae) and serogroup identification tests were performed on stool samples/rectal swabs of cases. STEC infection was detected in 87 (10.6%) BD cases. The median age of STEC cases was 2.7 years, and 60 (68.9%) were <4. Of these 87 cases, 12 (13.8%) came from households with diarrhea. The reporting rate was 14.2/100,000, with the highest incidence in cases from the province of Bari (24.2/100,000). Serogroups O26 and O111 were both detected in 22/87 (25.3%) cases. Co-infections occurred in 12.6% of cases (11/87). Twenty-nine STEC were positive for stx1, stx2, and eae. Five cases (5.7%) caused by O26 (n = 2), O111 (n = 2), and O45 (n = 1) developed into HUS. A risk-oriented approach based on the testing of children with BD during the summer may represent a potentially beneficial option to improve the sensitivity of STEC surveillance, not only in Italy but also in the context of Europe as a whole.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/308961
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