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Volume 51, Number 4, August 2018

Epidemiology, clinical features, and microbiology of patients with diarrhea in community clinics in Taiwan 

Chih-Yu Chi, Li-Na Liao, Cheng-Mao Ho, Chia-Huei Chou, Mao-Wang Ho, Jen-Hsein Wang


Background and purpose: 

To investigate the clinical features and microbiology of patients with diarrheal diseases in Taiwan. 



From March 2014 to October 2014, patients with diarrheal diseases referred from the community clinics were enrolled into our prospective study. Demographics and clinical features of the participants were acquired. Stool samples were examined by the Luminex Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel assay. Data were analyzed by SAS version 9.4. 



A total of 545 patients were enrolled into this study. Male and adults accounted for 52.3% and 82.6% of patients, respectively. The median age was 36 years. Enteropathogen(s) was identified in 43.3% of patients and 8.5% of them had more than one agent in their stool samples. Viruses, especially norovirus GI/GII, were the predominant agents of gastroenteritis. Moreover, Campylobacter species was the most common bacterial agent. Bloody stool was frequently reported in patients with bacterial diarrhea (P = 0.002); contrarily, watery stool was significantly associated with viral diarrhea (P < 0.0001). Regional variation and seasonality of microbiological distribution were also observed. 



In Taiwan, viruses were the predominant pathogens among patients with diarrheal diseases who visited community clinics. The therapeutic strategies for diarrheal patients should be based on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics. 


Key words:

Luminex, Gastroenteritis, Diarrhea, Community, Taiwan