This study investigated the prevalence of Escherichia coliO157:H7
in the stool of confirmed and non-confirmed diarrhoeic HIV/AIDS patients.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 was isolated by culture-based and immunomagnetic
separation from three hundred and sixty stool swabs. Identification was
by conventional IMViC, 20E API and molecular techniques. Confirmed and
non-confirmed diarrhoeic HIV/AIDS patients had 56.5% (74/131) and 43.5%
(57/131) respectively of E. coli O157:H7. Molecular results indicated
that the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 was 12.16% (9/74) and 8.77%
(5/57) from stool swabs of confirmed and non-confirmed diarrhoeic HIV/AIDS
patients. Antimicrobial resistance was higher for E. coli O157:H7
isolates from stools of confirmed HIV/AIDS than it was for non-confirmed
HIV/AIDS patients. Escherichia coli O157:H7 might be a silent cause
of diarrhoea in HIV/AIDS patients. It is recommended that HIV/AIDS patients
with diarrhoea should be screened for E. coli O157:H7 and surveillance
programmes for these bacteria should be established in both urban and
rural areas of South Africa.