Escherichia Coli

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    00:01 Okay so that's vibrio. No antibiotics, give people water and they shall survive.

    00:05 Let's now look at E. coli, in terms of its causing enteric disease. E. coli, Escherichia coli, very famous bacteria, is a member of the human gut microbiota. Most of the strains are avirulent, all the strains that we have in us, as long as they stay in the gut, they are okay. Now occasionally E. coli escapes the gut and causes other infections. You know the way we are built is not ideal, we have our anus right next to our genitals, so material comes out in feces, it's easy to contaminate the genitals and this is what happens in many people. They get urinary tract infections, where E. coli escapes from the intestine and infects the urinary tract; it can go all the way up to the kidneys and even spread beyond that.

    00:56 So these E. colis are just our normal flora, which aren't in the right place, in urinary tract and elsewhere and they can cause serious infections. We're not going to talk about these today, but I want you to know that the E. coli within you can sometimes cause problems within you, and those can spread to other people as well.

    01:12 What I'm talking about today are E. coli that come from other sources, either humans or animals, that are special strains that now have the ability to cause enteric infections. Alright. Other E. coli strains, that's a picture of E. coli by the way, they're rods, beautiful rods.

    01:30 Other E. coli strains, not from you, from other people or other animals can be pathogenic. So these are spread by fecal-oral contamination, and this can happen during food preparation, if a food preparer has this E. coli in them, perhaps they have asymptomatic enteric infection with the strain they acquired from somewhere else, they can contaminate the food and you will get it. Manure contamination is a big one.

    01:56 Cows have lots of E. coli strains in them which don't hurt the cows at all, but if they get into people they cause diarrhea and often cow manure contaminates food of various sorts, so for example crops are often irrigated with gray water that isn't so clean, it has cow manure in it and it contaminates the crops and they're not washed properly, you eat them and you get infection. So washing crops with contaminated water or just consumption of contaminated water that somehow contains manure from cows or even human feces, again from people who are infected with these unusual strains of E. coli.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Escherichia Coli by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Bacteria.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. E. coli
    2. Shigella
    3. Salmonella
    4. V. cholera
    5. S. aureus
    1. Gram negative rod
    2. Gram positive rod
    3. Gram negative cocci
    4. Gram positive bacillus
    5. Gram positive spirochete
    1. Contaminated respiratory droplets
    2. Improper food preparation/handling
    3. Manure contamination of food
    4. Contaminated irrigation of fruits and vegetables
    5. Contaminated water

    Author of lecture Escherichia Coli

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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