Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli: "the other bad E coli"

J Lab Clin Med. 2002 Mar;139(3):155-62. doi: 10.1067/mlc.2002.121550.


Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC), the specialized strains of E coli that cause most extraintestinal E coli infections, represent a major but little-appreciated health threat. Although the reasons for their evolution remain mysterious, by virtue of their numerous virulence traits ExPEC clearly possess a unique ability to cause disease outside the host intestinal tract. Broader appreciation of the existence and importance of ExPEC and better understandings of their distinctive virulence mechanisms, reservoirs, and transmission pathways may lead to effective preventive interventions against the morbid and costly infections ExPEC cause.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Escherichia coli Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology