Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC) have been implicated as diarrheal pathogens in several settings. Some EAggEC produce a distinct heat-stable enterotoxin named EAST1. The distribution and prevalence of the EAST1 gene in selected groups of bacterial enteropathogens were determined by colony hybridization. One hundred percent of 75 O157:H7 enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), 41% of 227 EAggEC, 41% of 149 enterotoxigenic E. coli, 22% of 65 enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), and 38% of 47 E. coli stool isolates from asymptomatic children hybridized with an EAST1 DNA probe. None of 55 enteroinvasive E. coli, 12 Yersinia enterocolitica, or 20 Vibrio cholerae non-O1 strains were EAST1 probe-positive. Concordance between EAST1 genotype and enterotoxicity was shown in examined strains of EAggEC, EHEC, and EPEC. The gene encoding EAST1 is more broadly distributed among diarrheogenic E. coli than previously known and may represent an additional determinant in the pathogenesis of E. coli diarrhea.