Heterogeneity of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli virulence demonstrated in volunteers

J Infect Dis. 1995 Feb;171(2):465-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/171.2.465.


Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC) are diarrheal pathogens defined by aggregative adherence to HEp-2 cells. In an effort to identify pathogenic EAggEC isolates, four groups of 5 volunteers were fed 1 of 4 different EAggEC strains, each at a dose of 10(10) cfu. Strain 042 caused diarrhea in 3 of 5 adults; 3 other EAggEC isolates (17-2, 34b, and JM221) failed to elicit diarrhea. A gene encoding enterotoxin EAST1 was found in strains 042 and 17-2 but not 34b or JM221; a 108-kDa cytotoxin was expressed in all 4 isolates. All 4 isolates showed a modest degree of gentamicin protection in HEp-2 cells. 17-2, 34b, and JM221 expressed the fimbrial antigen AAF/I; 042 did not express this fimbria as determined by immunogold electron microscopy and genetic probe hybridization.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Genetic Variation
  • Gentamicins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Virulence


  • Gentamicins