Escherichia coli

(redirected from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms.

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
..... Click the link for more information.
 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]
(microbiology)
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 ?
Inhibition of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) adhesion to HeLa cells by human colostrum: detection of specific sIgA related to EPEC outer-membrane proteins.
Inhibition of localized adhesion of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli to HEp-2 cells by immunoglobulin and oligosaccharide fractions of human colostrum and breast milk.
Typical and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains constitute two distinct groups of organisms that have in common the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), a pathogenicity island that promotes the development of attaching and effacing lesions (1,2).
Type IV pili, transient bacterial aggregates, and virulence of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.
The diarrheal response of humans to some classic serotypes of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli is dependent on a plasmid encoding an enteroadhesiveness factor.
The locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli encodes secretion functions and remnants of transposons at its extreme right end.
A genetic locus of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli necessary for the production of attaching and effacing lesions on tissue culture cells.
Isolation and characterization of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) from calves and lambs with diarrhoea in India.
Trabulsi LR, Keller R, Gomes TAT Typical and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.
Emerging enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains?
High prevalence of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in Norwegian children with diarrhoea.
Characterization of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains harboring the astA gene that were associated with a waterborne outbreak of diarrhea in Japan.