Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) 0157:H7 is a food-borne pathogen that causes hemolytic uremic syndrome and hemorrhagic colitis. The mechanisms underlying the adhesion of EHEC 0157:H7 to intestinal epithelial cells are not well understood. Like other food-borne pathogens, ECEC 0157:H7 must survive the acid stress of the gastric juice in the stomach and short chain fatty acid in the intestine in order to colonize the large intestine. We have found that acid stress and short chain fatty acid stress significantly enhance host-adhesion of EHEC 0157:H7 and also upregulates expression of EHEC fimbrial genes, lpfA1, lpfA2 and yagZ, as demonstrated by our DNA microarray. We now report that disruption of the yagZ (also known as the E. coli common pilus A) gene results in loss of the acid-induced and short chain fatty acid-induced adhesion increase seen for the wild type strain. When the yagZ mutant is complemented with yagZ, the sress-induced and short chain fatty acid-induced adhesion increase seen for the wild type strain. When the yagZ mutant is complemented with yagZ, the stress-induced adhesion pehnotype is restored, confirming the role of yagZ in the acid as well as short chain fatty acid induced adhesion to HEp-2 cells. On the other hand, neither disruption in the long polar fimbria genes lpfA1 or lpfA2 in the wild type showed any effect in adherence to HEp-2 cells; rather displaying a hyperadherant phenotype to HEp-2 cells after acid-induced or short chain fatty acid-induced stress. The results also indicate that acid or short chain fatty acid stress, which is a part of the host's natural defense mechanism against pathogens, may regulate virulence factors resulting in enhanced bacteria-host attachment during colonization in the human or bovine host.