Enteroaggregative escherichia coli virulence factors in traveler's diarrhea strains

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is associated with diarrhea in Spanish travelers to developing countries. In this study, the polymerase chain reaction was used to test EAEC isolates for genes encoding putative virulence factors, including EAEC adhesins, the plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet), a heat-stable enterotoxin (EAST), and Shigella enterotoxins 1 and 2 (ShET1 and ShET2). Findings included a low prevalence of genes for Pet (4.3%), ShET2 (4.3%), and the adherence factor AAF/II (8.7%). The overlapping genes encoding the ShET1 and the Pic mucinase were present in most EAEC strains tested (56.5%); however, some strains that carried this locus did not produce both proteins, as determined by Western immunoblot. Surprisingly, ShET1 and ShET2 genes were also found in other E. coli pathotypes, as was the EAST toxin locus. These findings underscore the heterogeneity of EAEC strains and suggest that the ShET1 may be an important virulence factor in traveler's diarrhea.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1780-3
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • Adhesins, Escherichia coli, Bacterial Proteins, Bacterial Toxins, Diarrhea, Enterotoxins, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Infections, Escherichia coli Proteins, Humans, Molecular Epidemiology, Shiga Toxin 1, Shiga Toxin 2, Spain, Travel, Virulence

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