Serologic responses to somatic O and colonization-factor antigens of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in travelers

J Infect Dis. 1979 Jul;140(1):114-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/140.1.114.


To improve the retrospective diagnoses of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) as a cause of travelers' diarrhea, as well as to determine the presence of colonization-factor antigens in these infections, a study of serologic responses to antigens of ETEC was done. Paired sera from 60 United States students in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, were analyzed for rises in titer of antibody to heat-labile toxin, eight somatic antigen O serogroups associated with ETEC, and two colonization-factor antigens, CFA/I and CFA/II. Only 9% had a response to O antigens, while 20% had responses to the colonization-factor antigens. Response to the colonization-factor antigens correlated significantly with response to the heat-labile toxin and with culture evidence of ETEC infection. Serologic studies confirmed that colonization-factor antigen has a role in naturally acquired cases of travelers' diarrhea and that it can be used as an additional determinant of infection with ETEC.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Diarrhea / immunology*
  • Enterotoxins / biosynthesis*
  • Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Rabbits
  • Serotyping
  • Travel*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Enterotoxins