Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions

Brooks D. Cash, MD, FACP, CDR, MC, USN

Question 49: What Are The Various Manifestations Of E. Coli Infection Of The Colon And How Should It Be Treated? (continued)

Scott L. Itzkowitz, DO, FACP

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common commensal organism of the gastrointestinal tract. However, when specific additional genes are acquired by these bacteria, they may become pathogenic, and E. coli represents one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in humans. There are 5 specific forms of E. coli that are clinically relevant: enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC), and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC). The pathogenic E. coli cannot be distinguished from nonpathogenic strains…