Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2004
Publication Date: 1/1/2005
Citation: Smith, J.L., Fratamico, P.M. 2005. Diarrhea-inducing escherichia coli. Book Chapter. Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, UK p. 357-382. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: More information is available concerning Escherichia coli than any other organism, thus making E. coli the most thoroughly studied species in the microbial world. For many years, E. coli was considered a commensal of human and animal intestinal tracts with low virulence potential. Today, it is well known that many strains of E. coli act as pathogens that cause serious gastrointestinal diseases and even death in humans. There are six major categories of E. coli strains that cause enteric diseases in humans including: (1) enterohemorrhagic E. coli, which cause hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, (2) enterotoxigenic E. coli, which induce traveler's diarrhea, (3) enteropathogenic E. coli, which causes a persistent diarrhea in children living in developing countries, (4) enteroaggregative E. coli, which provoke diarrhea in children, (5) enteroinvasive E. coli that is biochemically and genetically related to Shigella species and can induce diarrhea, and (6) diffusely adherent E. coli, which cause diarrhea and is distinguished by a characteristic type of adherence to mammalian cells. Genomic studies on the diarrhea-inducing E. coli have provided much information on the nature of the pathogenic mechanisms of these organisms and have provided information that can be used to design techniques for the detection of specific E. coli strains. In spite of extensive study, more information is needed concerning the interaction of the human host with pathogenic E. coli.