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Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A04.2
ICD-9 008.03

Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) infection causes a syndrome that is identical to Shigellosis, with profuse diarrhea and high fever. EIEC are highly invasive, and they utilize adhesin proteins to bind to and enter intestinal cells. They produce no toxins, but severely damage the intestinal wall through mechanical cell destruction.

It is closely related to Shigella.[1][2]

After ingesting the organisms of EIEC, there is an invasion and adhesion of the epithelial cells of the intestine. The invasion of the cells can trigger a mild form of diarrhea or dysentery, often mistaken for dysentery caused by Shigella species. The illness is characterized by the appearance of blood and mucus in the stools of infected individuals or a condition called colitis. Dysentery caused by EIEC usually occurs within 12 to 72 hours following the ingestion of contaminated food. The illness is characterized by abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and a generalized malaise. Dysentery caused by this organism is generally self-limiting with no known complications.[3] Collectively, these five classes of enterovirulent E. coli are referred to as the EEC group (enterovirulent E. coli). Each class of EEC is distinct and different from the others. They are the: Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) invades (passes into) the intestinal wall to produce severe diarrhea. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC): A type of EHEC, E.coli 0157:H7, can cause bloody diarrhea and the hemolytic uremic syndrome (anemia and kidney failure). Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) produces a toxin that acts on the intestinal lining, and is the most common cause of traveler’s diarrhea. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) can cause diarrhea outbreaks in newborn nurseries. Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAggEC) can cause acute and chronic (long lasting) diarrhea in children. It is currently unknown what foods may harbor EIEC, but any food contaminated with human feces from an ill individual, either directly or via contaminated water, could cause disease in others. Outbreaks have been associated with hamburger meat and unpasteurized milk.[4]


  1. ^ Lan R, Alles MC, Donohoe K, Martinez MB, Reeves PR (September 2004). "Molecular evolutionary relationships of enteroinvasive Escherichia coli and Shigella spp". Infect. Immun. 72 (9): 5080–8. doi:10.1128/IAI.72.9.5080-5088.2004. PMID 15322001. PMC 517479.  
  2. ^ Rolland K, Lambert-Zechovsky N, Picard B, Denamur E (September 1998). "Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli strains are derived from distinct ancestral strains of E. coli". Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 144 ( Pt 9): 2667–72. PMID 9782516.  
  3. ^ Badbookbug Microbiology Foodbourne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli FDA
  4. ^ Escherichia coli, enteroinvasive Material Data Safety Sheets


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