Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are responsible for diarrhea in humans as well as in farm animals. ETEC infections in newborn, suckling, and especially in post-weaning piglets are associated with reduced growth rate, morbidity, and mortality. ETEC express virulence factors as adhesin and enterotoxins that play a central role in the pathogenic process. Adhesins associated with pigs are of diverse type being either fimbrial or non-fimbrial. Enterotoxins belong to two groups: heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (ST). Heterogeneity of ETEC strains encompass expression of various fimbriae (F4, F5, F6, F18, and F41) and enterotoxins (LT, STa, STb, and EAST1). In the late years, attempts to immunize animals against neonatal and post-weaning diarrhea were focused on the development of anti-adhesin strategies as this is the initial step of ETEC pathogenesis. Although those vaccines demonstrated some protection against ETEC infections, as enterotoxins are pivotal to the virulence of ETEC, a new generation of vaccinal molecules, which include adhesin and one or more enterotoxins, were recently tested. Some of these newly developed chimeric fusion proteins are intended to control as well human diarrhea as enterotoxins are more or less common with the ones found in pigs. As these could not be tested in the natural host (human), either a mouse or pig model was substituted to evaluate the protection efficacy. For the advancement of pig vaccine, mice were sometimes used for preliminary testing. This review summarizes advances in the anti-enterotoxin immunization strategies considered in the last 10 years.
© 2021. The Author(s).