Escherichia coli: a bacterium that can cause disease
What is it - biological definition
Escherichia Coli, also known as E. coli, is an enterobacter that lives in the intestines of animals that maintain constant internal body temperatures, including humans.
Summary of Key Features
- It has a rod shape.
- They have several flagella around the cell.
- They have adhesins that facilitate their fixation, preventing them from leaving the body through urine or feces.
How it enters the human body:
Through the consumption of contaminated food and water. It is therefore important to cook food thoroughly and to wash fruits and vegetables before consumption. Consuming meat of good origin is also an important measure. We should also wash our hands thoroughly before each meal and after using the toilet.
Major diseases caused by E.coli in humans
Escherichia coli can naturally inhabit the human intestines without causing problems. It even collaborates with the proper functioning of the digestive tract, acting in the process of absorption of nutrients. However, when it leaves the intestines and goes to other parts of the human body, it can cause various diseases. There are several strains of Escherichia Coli, most of which are harmless. However, some are pathogenic and can cause disease in humans.
- Gastroenteritis (diarrhea)
- Urinary infection
- Haemolytic uremic syndrome (mainly caused by Escherichia coli O157: H7)
- Cystitis (inflammation of the urinary tract)
- Peritonitis (inflation in the membrane lining the abdominal cavity)
- In neonates can cause meningitis.
Species: E. coli
- The presence of E. coli in water is an indication that it is contaminated with human feces.