Sleep duration prior to an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli challenge predicts diarrhea severity during infection

Janna Mantua*, Ramiro L. Gutierrez, Sandra D. Isidean, Ashley N. Alcala, Kayla J. Testa, Kawsar R. Talaat, Tracy Jill Doty, Chad K. Porter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute diarrhea is the most frequent diagnosis among ill travelers. Sleep loss may weaken the body's defense against pathogens and increase susceptibility to infection. The relationship between sleep and infectious diarrhea has not been studied and was assessed utilizing data from a controlled human infection model (CHIM) for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Methods: During a CHIM assessing the efficacy of an immunoprophylactic targeting ETEC against moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) following challenge, we measured sleep via actigraphy over an 8-day inpatient period. We hypothesized better sleep pre-challenge would predict illness symptomatology following challenge. Results: Among 57 participants (aged 34.4 ± 8.1 years, 64% male), there was no relationship between sleep metrics and incidence of MSD. However, longer total sleep time the night preceding ETEC challenge was associated with lower maximum 24 h diarrhea volume (B = −1.80, p = 0.01) and total diarrhea volume (B = −2.45, p = 0.01). Conclusions: This novel study showed that shorter sleep duration predicted diarrhea severity over the course of an ETEC infection. Future work should experimentally manipulate sleep to further clarify its impact on diarrhea-related outcomes for ETEC and other important enteric pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-409
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • A
  • C
  • ETEC
  • Sleep
  • T
  • cute diarrhea
  • ontrolled human infection model
  • raveler's diarrhea


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