Diarrhoeal diseases are a common cause of mortality and morbidity in children but the infectious etiology is not always identified. Recently, it has been reported the isolation of Acinetobacter baumannii
, in children with acute diarrhoea, which presented a toxigenic effect in the cell line HT-29. To determine the enterotoxigenic activity of Acinetobacter spp
, the strains were cultured in brain-heart infusion for 24 h, at 35ºC. The supernatants were obtained by centrifugation and filtration and their activity tested on New Zealand rabbit ileal loop assay. This test showed that A. baumannii
induced a greater stimulation of intestinal secretion and inflammatory response, than enterotoxigenic strains E. coli
H10407. Enterotoxigenic activity was eliminated when the supernatants were heated at 70°C during 15 minutes. A. calcoaceticus
did not produce any effect. Conclusion: A. baumannii
presented enterotoxigenic activity through a thermolabile exotoxin. These results suggest a possible etiologic role of A. baumannii
in acute diarrhoea in children.