The discovery of cholera - Like enterotoxins produced by Escherichia coli causing secretory diarrhoea in humans

R. Bradley Sack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Non-vibrio cholera has been recognized as a clinical entity for as long as cholera was known to be caused by Vibrio cholerae. Until 1968, the aetiologic agent of this syndrome was not known. Following a series of studies in patients with non-vibrio cholera it was found that these patients had large concentrations of Escherichia coli in the small bowel and stools which produced cholera toxin-like enterotoxins, and had fluid and electrolyte transport abnormalities in the small bowel similar to patients with documented cholera. Furthermore, these patients developed antibodies to the cholera-like enterotoxin. Later studies showed that these strains, when fed to volunteers produced a cholera-like disease and that two enterotoxins were found to be produced by these organisms: a heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) which is nearly identical to cholera toxin, and a heat-stable enterotoxin (ST), a small molecular weight polypeptide. E. coli that produced one or both of these enterotoxins were designated enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). ETEC are now known not only to cause a severe cholera-like illness, but to be the most common bacterial cause of acute diarrhoea in children in the developing world, and to be the most common cause of travellers' diarrhoea in persons who visit the developing world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Volume133
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Cholera
  • Diarrhoea
  • Enterotoxin
  • Non-cholera diarrhoea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The discovery of cholera - Like enterotoxins produced by Escherichia coli causing secretory diarrhoea in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this