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Toxins 2019, 11(1), 24;

Heat-Stable Enterotoxins of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Their Impact on Host Immunity

Laboratory of Immunology, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
Laboratory of Gene Therapy, Department of Nutrition, Genetics and Ethology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Heidestraat 19, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
Animal Medical Testing Center, Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Jinhua Polytechnic, No. 888 Haitang West Street, Jinhua 321007, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat-Resistant Toxins of Animal, Plant and Microbial Origins)
PDF [885 KB, uploaded 8 January 2019]


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are an important diarrhea-causing pathogen and are regarded as a global threat for humans and farm animals. ETEC possess several virulence factors to infect its host, including colonization factors and enterotoxins. Production of heat-stable enterotoxins (STs) by most ETEC plays an essential role in triggering diarrhea and ETEC pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the heat-stable enterotoxins of ETEC strains from different species as well as the molecular mechanisms used by these heat-stable enterotoxins to trigger diarrhea. As recently described, intestinal epithelial cells are important modulators of the intestinal immune system. Thus, we also discuss the impact of the heat-stable enterotoxins on this role of the intestinal epithelium and how these enterotoxins might affect intestinal immune cells. Finally, the latest developments in vaccination strategies to protect against infections with ST secreting ETEC strains are discussed. This review might inform and guide future research on heat-stable enterotoxins to further unravel their molecular pathogenesis, as well as to accelerate vaccine design. View Full-Text
Keywords: ETEC; heat-stable enterotoxins; vaccination strategies ETEC; heat-stable enterotoxins; vaccination strategies

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Wang, H.; Zhong, Z.; Luo, Y.; Cox, E.; Devriendt, B. Heat-Stable Enterotoxins of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Their Impact on Host Immunity. Toxins 2019, 11, 24.

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