Clinical implications of enteroadherent escherichia coli

Margarita M.P. Arenas-Hernández, Ygnacio Martínez-Laguna, Alfredo G. Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-394
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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