E. coli


E. coli

noun \ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī\

: a kind of bacteria that is sometimes in food and water and that can make people sick

plural E. coli

Full Definition of E. COLI

:  an enterobacterium (Escherichia coli) that is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness

First Known Use of E. COLI

1926

E. coli

noun \ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural E. coli also E. colis

Medical Definition of E. COLI

: a straight rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium (Escherichia coli of the family Enterobacteriaceae) that is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness <one million acid-resistant E. coli per gram of feces—John Schwartz> <this E. coli can survive…longer than all the other E. colis—Ed Geldreich>

Illustration of E. COLI

E. coli

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Species of bacterium that normally inhabits the stomach and intestines. When E. coli is consumed in water, milk, or food or is transmitted through the bite of a fly or other insect, it can cause gastrointestinal illness. Mutations can lead to strains that cause diarrhea by giving off toxins, invading the intestinal lining, or sticking to the intestinal wall. Therapy for gastrointestinal illness consists largely of fluid replacement, though specific drugs are effective in some cases. The illness is usually self-limiting, with no evidence of long-lasting effects. However, one dangerous strain causes bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, and death in extreme cases. Proper cooking of meat and washing of produce can prevent infection from contaminated food sources.

Variants of E. COLI

E. coli in full Escherichia coli

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