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Gut Microbes. 2013 Jul-Aug;4(4):281-91. doi: 10.4161/gmic.24826. Epub 2013 May 2.

Animal models of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli infection.

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Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory; Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA USA.


Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) has been acknowledged as an emerging cause of gastroenteritis worldwide for over two decades. Epidemiologists are revealing the role of EAEC in diarrheal outbreaks as a more common occurrence than ever suggested before. EAEC induced diarrhea is most commonly associated with travelers, children and immunocompromised individuals however its afflictions are not limited to any particular demographic. Many attributes have been discovered and characterized surrounding the capability of EAEC to provoke a potent pro-inflammatory immune response, however cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying initiation, progression and outcomes are largely unknown. This limited understanding can be attributed to heterogeneity in strains and the lack of adequate animal models. This review aims to summarize current knowledge about EAEC etiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestation. Additionally, current animal models and their limitations will be discussed along with the value of applying systems-wide approaches such as computational modeling to study host-EAEC interactions.


EAEC pathogenesis; Th17; animal model; computational modeling; enteroaggregative E. coli

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