Persistent diarrhoea: Associated infection and response to a low lactose diet

H. Ashraf, S. Ahmed, G. J. Fuchs, D. Mahalanabis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Children aged 4-23 months with persistent diarrhoea received a low lactose diet, multivitamins, minerals and antibiotics for infection. Sixty-one (57 per cent) children improved with low lactose diet while 46 (43 per cent) failed. Children who failed were younger (8.9 ± 3.5 vs. 11.3 ± 4.4 months), had higher initial purging rate (146 ± 102 vs. 109 ± 102 g/kg/day) and consumed more ORS (138 ± 77 vs. 95 ± 79 g/kg/day). A higher proportion of children in the failure group needed unscheduled intravenous fluid (48 vs. 20 per cent) and lost body weight (24 vs. 0 per cent). Single and multiple stool pathogen were isolated from 44 and 45 per cent cases, respectively. Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (66 per cent) was the most common pathogen isolated. Half of all pathogens including Campylobacter, rotavirus, cholera and non-typhoidal Salmonella were nosocomially acquired. Sixty four per cent of children had extraintestinal infections including acute lower respiratory infection (50 per cent), urinary tract infection (29 per cent) and septicaemia (11 per cent). The presence of extraintestinal infections were significantly associated with failure. Overall, 91 per cent of children had either intestinal and/or extraintestinal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Tropical Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a grant from WHO. ICDDR,B is supported by countries and agencies which share their concern for the health problems of the developing countries. We thank Mrs Naseha Majid for her assistance in designing and helping in the preparation of the study diets. Thanks to Ms Tahsin Ramana, Rehana Sultana, Zinat Ara Poly and Rita Sharma for their kind assistance in the project. The authors are grateful to Drs S. K. Roy, N. H. Alam and S. M. Akramuzzaman for critically reviewing the paper. Thanks are also due to Mr M. A. Rahman Patwary for secretarial assistance. Correspondence: Dr Hasan Ashraf, Clinical Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. Tel. 880–2-881 1751; Fax 880 2 882 3116. E-mail <>.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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