Seroprevalence Study of Conserved Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Antigens in Globally Diverse Populations

Frederick Matthew Kuhlmann, Vadim Grigura, Timothy J. Vickers, Michael G. Prouty, Lora L. Iannotti, Sherlie Jean Louis Dulience, James M. Fleckenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are common causes of infectious diarrhea among young children of low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and travelers to these regions. Despite their significant contributions to the morbidity and mortality associated with childhood and traveler’s diarrhea, no licensed vaccines are available. Current vaccine strategies may benefit from the inclusion of additional conserved antigens, which may contribute to broader coverage and enhanced efficacy, given their key roles in facilitating intestinal colonization and effective enterotoxin delivery. EatA and EtpA are widely conserved in diverse populations of ETEC, but their immunogenicity has only been studied in controlled human infection models and a population of children in Bangladesh. Here, we compared serologic responses to EatA, EtpA and heat-labile toxin in populations from endemic regions including Haitian children and subjects residing in Egypt, Cameroon, and Peru to US children and adults where ETEC infections are sporadic. We observed elevated IgG and IgA responses in individuals from endemic regions to each of the antigens studied. In a cohort of Haitian children, we observed increased immune responses following exposure to each of the profiled antigens. These findings reflect the wide distribution of ETEC infections across multiple endemic regions and support further evaluation of EatA and EtpA as candidate ETEC vaccine antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2221
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • antibodies
  • antigens
  • diarrhea
  • enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli
  • surface
  • vaccine


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