Escherichia coli

Definition

A Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped species belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae


Supplement

Enterobacteriaceae is a family of Gram-negative, rod-shaped, typically 1-5 μm in length, facultative anerobes. Many of them are a normal part of the gut flora in the intestines of humans and other mammals. Escherichia coli belongs to this family. Thus, it is negative in gram staining and facultatively anaerobic. Its size is typically 0.5 x 3-5 m and is abundant in the colon of mammals. Many strains of Escherichia coli are harmless as they thrive in the gut of their host, and help in producing vitamin K2.1 Nevertheless, some serotypes can be pathogenic especially in immunocompromised host and may cause serious food poisoning in their hosts that ingest a contaminated food. In humans, pathogenic Escherichia coli can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis.

Escherichia coli plays an important role in many laboratory experiments. They have been used in biological engineering and industrial microbiology. For instance, this species are used in recombinant DNA technology.


Abbreviation / Acronym: E. coli

Scientific classification:

See also:

Related term(s):

Mentioned in:

Reference(s):
1 Bentley, R. & Meganathan, R. (1982). "Biosynthesis of vitamin K (menaquinone) in bacteria". Microbiol. Rev. 46 (3): 241–80.

Retrieved from "http://www.biology-online.org/bodict/index.php?title=Escherichia_coli&oldid=100650"
First | Previous (Escherichia) | Next (Escherichia coli infections) | Last
Advertisement
Please contribute to this project, if you have more information about this term feel free to edit this page.