Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) primarily cause gastrointestinal illness in neonates.

They accomplish this by a complex coordinated multistage strategy, whereby the organisms colonize the epithelial lining of the small intestine. This process can be divided into four stages: first, localized, nonintimate adherence; second, type III secretion-mediated injection of effector proteins, third effacement of microvilli and, finally, intimate adherence. In this article, we review the history and current state of knowledge, as well as present potential future directions for further investigating the fascinating processes by which EPEC and related organisms colonize the human intestine and cause disease. The enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) pathotype is currently divided into two groups, typical EPEC (tEPEC) and atypical EPEC (aEPEC). The property that distinguishes these two groups is the presence of the EPEC adherence factor plasmid, which is only found in tEPEC. aEPEC strains are emerging enteropathogens that have been detected worldwide. Herein, we review the serotypes, virulence properties, genetic relationships, epidemiology, reservoir and diagnosis of aEPEC, including those strains not belonging to the classical EPEC serogroups (nonclassical EPEC serogroups). The large variety of serotypes and genetic virulence properties of aEPEC strains from nonclassical EPEC serogroups makes it difficult to determine which strains are truly pathogenic. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of diarrhea in infants less than two years of age in developing countries. To induce diarrhea EPEC uses several virulence factors acting on a still unknown and mysterious mechanism. The hallmark of EPEC infection is a histological intestinal alteration known as the attaching and effacing (A/E) lesion. The bacterium attaches intimately to the enterocyte and induces assembly of cytoskeleton intracellular actin on the cellular surface. Rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton form a pedestal-like structure where bacterium tightly cups the cells, leading to degeneration of brush border microvilli. Although the mechanism of EPEC-induced pedestal formation has been dissected in detail, the overall mechanism of diarrhea is still obscure. It is believed that EPEC-mediated secretory diarrhea is related to a) intestinal microvilli effacement, b) massive loss of intracellular ions into the intestinal milieu and c) secretion of an EPEC enterotoxin. Epidemiological studies conducted in developing countries have shown that EPEC is one of the main bacteria frequently isolated from children with diarrhea, causing high morbidity and mortality rates. The microbiological diagnosis of EPEC-induced disease is performed with analytic methodologies different from those used by the standard microbiology laboratory, the most relevant being: a) serotypification, b) the adherence assay, c) FAS test, and d) the specific detection of virulence-involved genes (bfpA and eae genes) using molecular biology techniques. The purpose of this review is to update the most recent findings regarding the molecular pathogenesis of EPEC, its epidemiology in Mexico as well as other developing countries, and also the developed methodology for the diagnosis of EPEC infection. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a gram-negative bacterial pathogen that adheres to intestinal epithelial cells, causing diarrhoea. It constitutes a significant risk to human health and remains an important cause of infant mortality in developing countries. Although EPEC was the first E. coli strain to be implicated in human disease in the 1940s and 1950s, the mechanisms by which this pathogen induced diarrhoea remained a complete mystery throughout most of the 40 years since its description. It was only during the late 1980s that major advances were made in unravelling the mechanisms behind

. Ever since. This review aims to trace the progress of EPEC research since its existence was first reported by John Bray in 1945. host signal transduction pathways in response to EPEC infection and the genetic basis of EPEC pathogenesis. highlighting the major findings that have revolutionised our understanding of EPEC pathogenesis. The rapid pace of discovery is a result of intensive research by investigators in this field and portends that EPEC will soon be among one of the most understood diarrhoea-causing infectious agents. progress has been made at a stunning pace and there have been major breakthroughs in identifying the bacterial factors involved in attaching and effacing (A/E) lesion formation.EPEC pathogenesis.