Bringing down the host: enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli effector-mediated subversion of host innate immune pathways

Cell Microbiol. 2015 Mar;17(3):318-32. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12412. Epub 2015 Feb 4.


Enteric bacterial pathogens commonly use a type III secretion system (T3SS) to successfully infect intestinal epithelial cells and survive and proliferate in the host. Enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC; EHEC) colonize the human intestinal mucosa, form characteristic histological lesions on the infected epithelium and require the T3SS for full virulence. T3SS effectors injected into host cells subvert cellular pathways to execute a variety of functions within infected host cells. The EPEC and EHEC effectors that subvert innate immune pathways--specifically those involved in phagocytosis, host cell survival, apoptotic cell death and inflammatory signalling--are all required to cause disease. These processes are reviewed within, with a focus on recent work that has provided insights into the functions and host cell targets of these effectors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Secretion Systems
  • Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Bacterial Secretion Systems
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Virulence Factors