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  • 1 Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran
  • | 2 Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran
  • | 3 Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran
  • | 4 Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran
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Shigella spp. are a major cause of bacillary dysentery, particularly among children in developing countries such as Iran. This study aimed to investigate the presence of two important Shigella enterotoxins (ShET-1 and ShET-2), encoded by the set and sen genes, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay among Shigella species isolated from children affected by shigellosis in Ahvaz, southwest of Iran. In this cross-sectional study, from June 2016 to April 2017, altogether 117 Shigella isolates were collected from fecal specimens of children aged <15 years with diarrhea in Ahvaz, southwest Iran. All isolates were identified by standard microbiological and molecular methods. The presence of enterotoxin genes was determined by PCR. The most prevalent isolate was Shigella flexneri (47.9%), followed by Shigella sonnei (41%) and Shigella boydii (11.1%), respectively. Shigella dysenteriae was not detected in patients’ samples. The frequencies of set1A, set1B, and sen genes were 5.1% (6/117), 15.4% (18/117), and 76.9% (90/117), respectively. This study provides initial background on the prevalence and distribution of the Shigella enterotoxin genes in Shigella isolates in southwest of Iran. In addition, this study revealed a high prevalence of sen enterotoxin gene in Shigella species.

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