Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli virulence factors and vaccine approaches

Donato R. Sizemore, Kenneth L. Roland, Una S. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is recognized as one of the major causes of infectious diarrhea in developing countries. Worldwide, the incidence of ETEC infections is estimated to result in 650 million cases of diarrhea and 380,000 deaths in children under 5 years of age. ETEC is also an important cause of travelers' diarrhea in people traveling to endemic regions of the world. Although ETEC is an uncommon cause of infections in the USA, there have been 14 reported outbreaks of ETEC in the USA and seven on cruise ships over the 20-year period between 1975 and 1995. ETEC strains are comprised of a large number of serotypes that produce a variety of colonization factors and enterotoxins. On infection, ETEC first establishes itself by adhering to the epithelium of the small intestine via one or more colonisation factor antigens or coli surface proteins. Once established, ETEC expresses one or more enterotoxin(s), which results in the production of secretory diarrhea. While the need for an efficacious, easily administered vaccine is great, there are currently no licensed ETEC vaccines available for use in endemic countries or for US travelers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Colonization factor antigens
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli
  • Enterotoxins
  • Heat-labile toxin
  • Heat-stable toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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