Diarrheagenic E. coli

Last updated: November 26, 2020

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a gram-negative, rod-shaped flagellated bacterium. Although it is an essential component of the bacterial gut flora, the disease may be caused by direct intake of a pathogenic E. coli subtype (e.g., in contaminated food) or spreading of the intestinal bacteria to another organ (cystitis, pneumonia). Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), for instance, can lead to severe colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), particularly in children and infants. In such cases, diarrhea should only be treated symptomatically, as antibiotics can lead to increased toxin secretions that exacerbate the course of the disease. Supportive therapy without antibiotic therapy is also recommended for infection involving other strains of E. coli (ETEC, EPEC, and EIEC), but antibiotics may be indicated in certain cases.

General informationtoggle arrow icon

Do not use antibiotics if EHEC is suspected.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC)toggle arrow icon

EHEC leads to HUS.

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)toggle arrow icon

ETEC causes Travelers' diarrhea.

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC)toggle arrow icon

EPEC causes Pediatric diarrhea.

Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC)toggle arrow icon

EIEC Invades the Intestinal mucosa.


Referencestoggle arrow icon

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