Escherichia coli



This bacteria was discovered in 1885. E. coli is often referred to as the best or most-studied free-living organism. Escherichia coli (or E. coli) is the most prevalent infecting organism in the family of gram-negative bacteria. It is commonly found in the stomachof humans and warm-blooded animals.

How is it transmitted?

The most common contaminated food and liquids that have caused E-coli outbreaks include.....

Undercooked or raw hamburgers


Produce such as spinach, lettuce, sprouted seeds

Unpasturized milk, apple juice and apple cider

Contaminated well water frequented by animals

Possible complications

May lead to a life-threatening disease including haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)

The disease can lead to permanent loss of kidney function.

Target Audiance

Anyone but especially young children and the elderly.


Hemorrhagic colitis is diagnosed by isolation of E. coli of serotype O157:H7 or other verotoxin-producing E. coli from diarrheal stools. Alternatively, the stools can be tested directly for the presence of verotoxin. Confirmation can be obtained by isolation of E. coli of the same serotype from the incriminated food.


Is thought to be second only to Salmonella as a cause of bacterial diarrhea.

Because of the unmistakable symptoms of profuse, visible blood in severe cases, those victims probably seek medical attention, but less severe cases are probably more numerous.


"Food." BBB. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014

"E. Coli." Transmission. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.