Send to

Choose Destination
J Ind Microbiol. 1995 Sep;15(3):214-26.

Colonization factors of diarrheagenic E. coli and their intestinal receptors.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307-5100, USA.


While Escherichia coli is common as a commensal organism in the distal ileum and colon, the presence of colonization factors (CF) on pathogenic strains of E. coli facilitates attachment of the organism to intestinal receptor molecules in a species- and tissue-specific fashion. After the initial adherence, colonization occurs, and the involvement of additional virulence determinants leads to illness. Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is the most extensively studied of the five categories of E. coli that cause diarrheal disease, and has the greatest impact on health worldwide. ETEC can be isolated from domestic animals and humans. The biochemistry, genetics, epidemiology, antigenic characteristics, and cell and receptor binding properties of ETEC have been extensively described. Another major category, enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), has virulence mechanisms, primarily effacement and cytoskeletal rearrangement of intestinal brush borders, that are distinct from ETEC. An EPEC CF receptor has been purified and characterized as a sialidated transmembrane glycoprotein complex directly attached to actin, thereby associating CF-binding with host-cell response. Three additional categories of E. coli diarrheal disease, their colonization factors and their host cell receptors, are discussed. It appears that biofilms exist in the intestine in a manner similar to oral bacterial biofilms, and that E. coli is part of these biofilms as both commensals and pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center