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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2008 Aug;15(8):1194-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00070-08. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Influence of host interleukin-10 polymorphisms on development of traveler's diarrhea due to heat-labile enterotoxin-producing Escherichia coli in travelers from the United States who are visiting Mexico.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Up to 60% of U.S. visitors to Mexico develop traveler's diarrhea (TD), mostly due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains that produce heat-labile (LT) and/or heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins. Distinct single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the interleukin-10 (IL-10) promoter have been associated with high, intermediate, or low production of IL-10. We conducted a prospective study to investigate the association of SNPs in the IL-10 promoter and the occurrence of TD in ETEC LT-exposed travelers. Sera from U.S. travelers to Mexico collected on arrival and departure were studied for ETEC LT seroconversion by using cholera toxin as the antigen. Pyrosequencing was performed to genotype IL-10 SNPs. Stools from subjects who developed diarrhea were also studied for other enteropathogens. One hundred twenty-one of 569 (21.3%) travelers seroconverted to ETEC LT, and among them 75 (62%) developed diarrhea. Symptomatic seroconversion was more commonly seen in subjects who carried a genotype producing high levels of IL-10; it was seen in 83% of subjects with the GG genotype versus 54% of subjects with the AA genotype at IL-10 gene position -1082 (P, 0.02), in 71% of those with the CC genotype versus 33% of those with the TT genotype at position -819 (P, 0.005), and in 71% of those with the CC genotype versus 38% of those with the AA genotype at position -592 (P, 0.02). Travelers with the GCC haplotype were more likely to have symptomatic seroconversion than those with the ATA haplotype (71% versus 38%; P, 0.002). Travelers genetically predisposed to produce high levels of IL-10 were more likely to experience symptomatic ETEC TD.

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