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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Escherichia coli ( E. coli )

Escherichia coli ( E. coli )

E coli image

Most strains of Escherichia coli form part of the normal intestinal microflora in humans and warm-blooded animals. However, some strains have the ability to cause disease in humans through the presence of specific virulence factors.

(Image: Dr. M.S. Mitchell / CDC)

These diseases include food poisoning, eg E. coli O157, or infections outside the intestinal tract such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), and bacteraemia. E. coli are also becoming an important reservoir of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs).