Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli as a cause of acute diarrhea

David B Huang, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) are considered an important emerging enteric and food-borne pathogen. The groups importantly affected by EAEC include international travelers, children in the developing world, and patients with HIV infection. EAEC does not commonly cause diarrheal illness in all hosts. The reasons for the observed clinical variation in EAEC infection are multifactorial and are dependant on the pathogen, the inoculum ingested and the host susceptibility. A major obstacle in identifying the mechanism of pathogenesis for EAEC is the heterogeneity in virulence of strains. No EAEC virulence gene is consistently present in all diarrheagenic strains. However, a recent report suggests that a package of plasmid borne and chromosomal virulence factors are under the control of the described transcriptional activator aggR. Although the exact inoculum required for EAEC diarrheal illness is not known, a volunteer study has shown that oral ingestion of 10 10 cfu of virulent EAEC elicited diarrhea. Ongoing studies are being conducted to better define the exact infectious dose. There are also host factors associated with increased susceptibility of persons to diarrheal illness with EAEC. The following three manuscripts: (1) review EAEC as an emerging enteric pathogen; (2) identify EAEC as a cause of acute diarrhea among different subpopulations worldwide; (3) identify virulence characteristics and the molecular epidemiology of EAEC isolates among travelers with diarrheal illness and describe the pathogenesis of EAEC infection.

Subject Area

Public health|Surgery|Microbiology

Recommended Citation

Huang, David B, "Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli as a cause of acute diarrhea" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3178917.