Résumé : Objective: To determine the prevalence of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC) in African diarrheal children in Lwiro, Congo, to characterize EAggEC isolates by possible genotypic and phenotypic markers, and to evaluate the EAggEC probe pCVD432 in identifying EAggEC. Methods: The Hep-2 cell adhesion assay and colony-blot hybridization assays were carried out for the identification of EAggEC. O:H serotyping, biotyping, antibiogram and plasmid-profile analysis were done. To detect the E. coli LT and ST, ELISA tests were used and, for VT, a vero cell assay was used. Results: EAggEC strains were isolated from 56 out of 115 diarrheal children (48.7%): the organism was present alone and presumed to cause diarrhea in 22 (19.1%) cases. The rest of the cases were associated with two or more diarrheagenic E. coli strains. EAggEC strains were isolated from 25% of total diarrheal children (first day of isolation) and 8.86% of age-matched healthy individuals (p < 0.03). This isolation rate was significantly higher than the one found for other diarrheagenic E. coli strains. In parallel, we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of EAggEC probe pCVD432, and found that it had 56% sensitivity with 100% specificity compared with the Hep-2 cell test. EAggEC isolates were characterized by serotyping, biotyping, antibiotic resistance pattern, plasmid profiling and toxin production analysis. They did not produce any one of these classical toxins and nor did they relate to any particular serotypes. Plasmid analysis of the 79 EAggEC isolates (n = 315) showed seven different profiles. Ten resistance patterns were identified and 34 strains were sensitive to all drugs. There was no association between plasmid profiles and antibiotic resistance patterns. All 16 classical E. coli biotypes were found in this small EAggEC population. Conclusions: EAggEC has been emerging as a cause of childhood diarrhea in African children in Congo. From the accumulated data it was found that there is a great heterogeneity in EAggEC populations.