Noninvasive types of E. coli include what are called enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC).
EPEC and ETEC types produce a bacterial poison (toxin) in the stomach that interacts with the digestive juices and causes the patient to lose large amounts of water through the intestines.
Patients infected with ETEC and some types of EPEC develop watery diarrhea.
ETEC, EPEC, and EIEC are unusual in the United States and can usually be identified only by specialists in research laboratories.
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