Why don’t all children who are infected with E. coli experience diarrhea and stunted growth in industrialized countries?

Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli infection is associated with diarrhea, stunted growth and failure to thrive in undeveloped countries. But strikingly, this sometimes deadly form of E. coli was found in 14% of children in an industrialized country with only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.  Researchers are puzzled why this is so. [Frontiers Cellular Infection Microbiology July 13, 2016; Science Daily Oct 4, 2016]

While researchers act clueless to why a mortal form of E. coli bacteria doesn’t produce symptoms of severe diarrhea or no symptoms at all, we find evidence that nutrient deficiencies, in particular shortages of zinc and vitamin A, dictate whether Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli poses a health threat to children or not.  [Tropical Medicine International Health Aug 21, 2016; Gut Microbes 2014; BMC Microbiology 2010; Virulence Oct 1, 2013]

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