Escherichia coli

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Escherichia coli

(ĕsh'ərĭk`ēə kō`lī), common bacterium that normally inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals, but can cause infection in other parts of the body, especially the urinary tract. It is the most common member of the genus Escherichia, named for Theodor Escherich, a German physician. E. coli is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium propelled by long, rapidly rotating flagella. It is part of the normal flora of the mouth and gut and helps protect the intestinal tract from bacterial infection, aids in digestion, and produces small amounts of vitamins B12 and K. The bacterium, which is also found in soil and water, is widely used in laboratory research and is said to be the most thoroughly studied life form. In genetic engineeringgenetic engineering,
the use of various methods to manipulate the DNA (genetic material) of cells to change hereditary traits or produce biological products. The techniques include the use of hybridomas (hybrids of rapidly multiplying cancer cells and of cells that make a
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 it is the microorganism preferred for use as a host for the gene-splicing techniques used to clone genes.

E. Coli Food Poisoning

In 1982 a particularly toxic strain of E. coli, E. coli 0157:H7, was identified; it produces a toxin (Shiga toxin) that damages cells that line the intestines. The same strain was responsible for a 1993 outbreak of food poisoning in Washington state, which sickened 500 people and killed three, and a series of outbreaks in 1996 in Japan, which sickened some 10,000 and killed 12. A rarer and more virulent Shiga-toxin-producing strain, E. coli O104:H4, was the cause of the 2011 outbreak centered on N Germany that sickened more than 4,000 people from more than a dozen countries and killed 50.

Food-poisoning outbreaks due to Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) are typically the result of transmission via raw or undercooked ground meat (thought to become contaminated during slaughter or processing) or contaminated salad ingredients. The strains can potentially contaminate any food. STEC infections can also occur through other means, such as contact with infected persons or cattle, or consumption of or contact with contaminated water.

Symptoms, which begin 1 to 8 days after infection and last for about a week, include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and in some cases, fever. The most serious complication is a hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) that can lead to kidney failure and death, especially in children. The 2011 infection, for example, led to HUS in some 900 people. There is no treatment other than supportive care. Practical preventive measures include thorough cooking of meat and careful hygiene around infected individuals.

A rapid rise in the number of cases of illness caused by STEC strains has prompted calls for a reevaluation of food inspection techniques in the United States. Irradiation of meat and some greens is now approved by the FDA as a means to destroy such bacteria.

Escherichia coli

[‚esh·ə′rik·ē·ə ′kō‚lī]
The type species of the genus, occurring as part of the normal intestinal flora in vertebrates. Also known as colon bacillus.
References in periodicals archive ?
Key words: Urinary tract infection, Aloevera Gel, E-coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
This data driven report contains over 30 links to online copies of actual e-coli deals and contract documents as submitted to the Securities Exchange Commission by companies and their partners, where available.
The study showed that 97 per cent of the samples contained unidentified bacteria, while 63 per cent contained shigella, 30 per cent had E-coli and 10 per cent had salmonella.
E-Coli virus in France was linked to the one in Germany, but tests are ongoing.
It is not known how many growers in Wales were affected, but farmers in west Lancashire saw orders drop by 75% in the week following the European E-coli outbreak.
ADFCA held a meeting with the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi to review the post e-coli outbreak situation and concluded that the measures implemented in the emirate are better than the same anywhere else in the world.
The World Health Organisation reported an updated total of 2,086 cases of E-coli in Germany and 722 cases of the serious complication known as HUS.
An inquiry into the 2005 e-coli outbreak in South Wales that killed five-year-old Mason Jones and infected 161 others, ruled that abattoir safety breaches were allowed to continue despite fears raised by inspectors.
Staff failed to take a urine sample, which should have been the normal procedure when a child was brought in with E-coli.
The US Centres for Disease Control said preliminary investigations sho-wed "a strong association" between eating the cookie dough and the illnesses of 65 people in 29 states, who had tested positive for E-coli since March.
We have the tag of having the worst ever outbreak of E-coli in the world, where 21 people lost their lives and we should be forgiven for thinking that lessons must have been learned, but it seems that this is not the case.
Authorities said the E-coli contamination originated from the Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, although they said they could not make a definitive determination as to how the E-coli contaminated the spinach.