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Bacterial flora of Tasmanian SIDS infants with special reference to pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2009

S. S. Bettiol
University of Tasmania, Department of Pathology, 43 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
F. J. Radcliff
University of Tasmania, Department of Pathology, 43 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
A. L. C. Hunt
University of Tasmania, Department of Pathology, 43 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
J. M. Goldsmid
University of Tasmania, Department of Pathology, 43 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
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The general bacterial flora of 38 Tasmanian SIDS infants was examined together with faecal flora of 134 comparison infants ranging in age from birth to 6 months. The microflora of all specimens received was investigated with special emphasis on the toxigenic Escherichia coli (TEC). Samples were examined for verocytotoxigenic E. coli, free faecal verocytotoxin (FVT), heat labile toxin (LT) and heat stable toxin (ST) producers with the use of a Vero cell assay and commercial kits. The findings of this study revealed a high isolation rate (39%) of TEC from SIDS infants as compared to 1.5% from the healthy comparison infants. Atypical E. coli strains were also identified during the study, including E. coli A–D. An analysis of the same specimens for rotaviral and adenoviral antigens indicated that 30% of the SIDS cases were positive as compared to 20% in the comparison group.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994



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