Increased sensitivity of ETEC detection in stool cultures by increasing the number of Escherichia coli colonies tested
The cause of infection of about a third of all travelers' diarrhea patients studied is not identified. Stools of these diarrhea patients tested for known enteric pathogens are shown to be negative, and identified as pathogen negative stools. We proposed that the third of these diarrhea patients might not only include at present unknown pathogens, but also known pathogens that go undetected. Conventionally, a probability sample of five E. coli colonies are used detect enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and other diarrhea-producing E. coli from stool cultures. We compared this conventional method of using five E. coli colonies, to the use of up to twenty E. coli colonies. Testing for up to fifteen E. coli colonies detected about twice as many ETEC when compared to the detection of ETEC, testing for five E. coli colonies. When the number of E. coli colonies tested was increased from 5 to 15, the detection of ETEC increased from 19.0% to 38.8%. The sensitivity of the assay with 5 E. coli colonies was statistically significantly different to the sensitivity of the assay with 10 E. coli colonies, suggesting that for the detection of ETEC at least 10 colonies of E. coli should be tested.
Galbadage, Don Thushara Nuwan, "Increased sensitivity of ETEC detection in stool cultures by increasing the number of Escherichia coli colonies tested" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454139.