We have previously observed that Escherichia coli O45 isolates from swine postweaning diarrhea (PWD) induced attaching-effacing (A/E) lesions in experimentally inoculated gnotobiotic piglets. In the present work, ileal explant culture has been used as an in vitro model for the study of the development of A/E lesions due to these isolates. The characteristic intimate bacterial attachment and microvilli effacement with cupping and pedestal formation, identical to that observed in gnotobiotic piglets, was demonstrated in pig ileal explants inoculated with O45 E. coli isolates. The initial attachment of bacteria to the enterocytes was observed from 2 to 4 h postinoculation (PI) and full development of A/E lesions was observed within 8 h PI. In this model, we observed that 22 of 25 eaeA-positive O45 isolates induced A/E lesions. However, A/E lesions were not observed for any of 7 eaeA-negative O45 isolates. Thus, we describe a useful in vitro model for the study of A/E capacity of porcine E. coli. Use of this model has enabled us to demonstrate the relatedness of the eaeA gene to A/E capability among porcine O45 E. coli from PWD.