Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 386–394 | Cite as

Clinical Implications of Enteroadherent Escherichia coli

  • Margarita M. P. Arenas-Hernández
  • Ygnacio Martínez-Laguna
  • Alfredo G. Torres
Small Intestine (J Sellin, Section Editor)


Pathogenic Escherichia coli that colonize the small intestine primarily cause gastrointestinal illness in infants and travelers. The main categories of pathogenic E. coli that colonize the epithelial lining of the small intestine are enterotoxigenic E. coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, and enteroaggregative E. coli. These organisms accomplish their pathogenic process by a complex, coordinated multistage strategy, including nonintimate adherence mediated by various adhesins. These so called “enteroadherent E. coli” categories subsequently produce toxins or effector proteins that are either secreted to the milieu or injected to the host cell. Finally, destruction of the intestinal microvilli results from the intimate adherence or the toxic effect exerted over the epithelia, resulting in water secretion and diarrhea. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge regarding these enteroadherent E. coli strains and the present clinical understanding of how these organisms colonize the human intestine and cause disease.


Enteropathogenic E. coli Enterotoxigenic E. coli Enteroaggregative E. coli Diarrhea Pathogenic Escherichia coli Virulence Adherence 



The work in AGT’s laboratory was supported by NIH/NIAID Grants AI079154 and AI09956001. The laboratories of YM-L and MA-H were supported by institutional funds from the VIEP-BUAP MALI-NAT12-I and VIEP-BUAP ARHM-NAT12-I.


Dr. M. Arenas-Hernandez’s and Dr. Y Martinez-Laguna’s institution has received grant support from VIEP. Dr. A Torres’s institution has received grant support from the NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarita M. P. Arenas-Hernández
    • 1
  • Ygnacio Martínez-Laguna
    • 1
  • Alfredo G. Torres
    • 2
  1. 1.Posgrado en Microbiología, Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias MicrobiológicasB. Universidad Autónoma de PueblaPueblaMéxico
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Pathology and Sealy Center for Vaccine DevelopmentUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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