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Thirty-five isolates of Shigella sonnei from patients with diarrhoea in three geographic regions of Argentina were examined for genetic diversity by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and plasmid profile. PFGE of XbaI and BlnI DNA digests confirmed the occurrence of outbreaks in two regions caused by two separate predominant clones of S. sonnei. The third region was characterized by three circulating clones, one of which was possibly associated with an outbreak. Similar plasmids were found in distinct clones and in one outbreak clone five different plasmid profiles were identified. Antimicrobial resistance of the isolates varied from fully susceptible to the agents tested, to resistance to cotrimoxazole, ampicillin and ciprofloxacin. Antibiotic resistance did not correlate with plasmid content. This information will form the basis for active surveillance of shigellosis in Argentina and elsewhere in the region through the PulseNet International Network.
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