Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria whose infection causes a syndrome that is identical to shigellosis, with profuse diarrhea and high fever.
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.
Outbreaks have been associated with hamburger meat and unpasteurized milk.
Enterovirulent classes of E. coli are referred to as the EEC group (enterovirulent E. coli):
Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) invades (passes into) the intestinal wall to produce severe diarrhea.
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC): A type of EHEC, E. coli O157:H7, can cause bloody diarrhea and 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.