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01.12.2016 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Gut Pathogens 1/2016

Prevalence and antibiotic resistance of bacterial pathogens isolated from childhood diarrhea in Beijing, China (2010–2014)

Gut Pathogens > Ausgabe 1/2016
Mei Qu, Bing Lv, Xin Zhang, Hanqiu Yan, Ying Huang, Haikun Qian, Bo Pang, Lei Jia, Biao Kan, Quanyi Wang
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13099-016-0116-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Diarrhea is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality among children less than 5 years of age worldwide, and its causes vary by region. This study aimed to determine the etiologic spectrum, prevalent characteristics and antimicrobial resistance patterns of common enteropathogenic bacteria from diarrheagenic children in Beijing, the capital of China.


Stool samples were collected from 2524 outpatients who were aged 0–5 years in Beijing, China during 2010–2014. Microbiological methods, real-time PCR and antimicrobial susceptibility test were used to identify the bacterial causes and antimicrobial resistance patterns in the isolates.


Of the 2524 patients screened, we identified the causes of 269 cases (10.7 %) as follows: diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (4.6 %), Salmonella (4.3 %), Shigella (1.4 %) and Vibrio parahaemolyticus (0.4 %). Atypical EPEC, Salmonella enteritidis, Shigella sonnei and serotype O3:K6 were the most common serogroups or serotypes of the four etiological bacteria. The prevalence of pathogens was correlated with age, season and clinical symptoms. The highest proportion of all causative bacteria was found in children aged 3–5 years and in summer. The clinical symptoms associated with specific bacterial infection, such as fever; abdominal pain; vomiting; and watery, mucus, and bloody stool, were observed frequently in diarrheal patients. Salmonella showed moderate rates of resistance (40–60 %) to ampicillin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin and sulfisoxazole. Resistance to at least three antimicrobials was found in 50 % of isolates. Of the top three serotypes in Salmonella, high-level antimicrobial resistance to single and multiple antibiotics was more common among Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella 1, 4, [5], 12:i:- than among S. enteritidis. More than 90 % of Shigella isolates showed more alarming resistance to most antibiotics, with a widened spectrum compared to Salmonella.


Constant antibiotic surveillance is warranted because the bacteria were highly resistant to various antimicrobials. Our study contributes to the strengthening of the existing surveillance system and provides aid for effective prevention and control strategies for childhood diarrhea.
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