Which Escherichia coli (E coli) variants cause enteric infections?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019
  • Author: Tarun Madappa, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

As a cause of enteric infections, 6 different mechanisms of action of 6 different varieties of E coli have been reported. Enterotoxigenic E coli (ETEC) is a cause of traveler's diarrhea. Enteropathogenic E coli (EPEC) is a cause of childhood diarrhea. Enteroinvasive E coli (EIEC) causes a Shigella -like dysentery. Enterohemorrhagic E coli (EHEC) causes hemorrhagic colitis or hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Enteroaggregative E coli (EAggEC) is primarily associated with persistent diarrhea in children in developing countries, and enteroadherent E coli (EAEC) is a cause of childhood diarrhea and traveler's diarrhea in Mexico and North Africa. ETEC, EPEC, EAggEC, and EAEC colonize the small bowel, and EIEC and EHEC preferentially colonize the large bowel prior to causing diarrhea.


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