Diffusely adherent Escherichia coli (DAEC) as a cause of acute diarrhea

Sonali Sarkar, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Acute diarrhea is the most common medical problem in the developing countries. Infectious agents are responsible for a majority of cases of acute diarrhea. Knowing the cause of acute diarrhea is important to developing plans for disease prevention, control and therapy. Acute diarrhea is caused by many viruses, bacteria and parasites. Travelers to developing countries of the world commonly develop diarrhea as a result of eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. About 30-50% of travelers who travel from industrialized countries like United States to the developing countries are at risk of developing diarrhea. High risk areas for travelers' diarrhea are Mexico, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Public restaurants are the common sites for exposure to this type of food-borne infectious disease in travelers. Food becomes contaminated when they are handled by people with fecal content on their hands. The importance of Diffusely Adherent Escherichia Coli (DAEC) in travelers to these areas has not been well studied. Some of the studies looking at DAEC have shown the organism to be present in children without symptoms. Other studies have shown a relationship between DAEC infection and presence of symptoms. I have selected this topic because the patho-physiological processes in DAEC infection that allow intestinal and extra-intestinal infections to develop are not fully understood. DAEC related acute diarrhea is a relatively new topic of public health significance. There is a limited number of studies regarding the virulence and pathogenic mechanisms of DAEC. The presumed virulence factor of the organism is diffuse attachment to the intestinal lining of the infected host. However more research needs to be done to identify the pathogenic mechanisms and virulence factors associated with DAEC infection for better treatment planning and diarrhea prevention.

Subject Area

Microbiology|Pathology|Public health

Recommended Citation

Sarkar, Sonali, "Diffusely adherent Escherichia coli (DAEC) as a cause of acute diarrhea" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1459796.