Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are among the most common causes of diarrheal illness worldwide. These pathogens disproportionately afflict children in developing countries, where they cause substantial morbidity and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Although these organisms are important targets for enteric vaccines, most development efforts to date have centered on a subset of plasmid-encoded fimbrial adhesins known as colonization factors and heatlabile toxin (LT). Emerging data suggest that ETEC undergoes considerable changes in its surface architecture, sequentially deploying a number of putative adhesins during its interactions with the host. We demonstrate here that one putative highly conserved, chromosomally encoded adhesin, EaeH, engages the surfaces of intestinal epithelial cells and contributes to bacterial adhesion, LT delivery, and colonization of the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3657-3666
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014


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