Escherichia Coli

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Escherichia Coli

Escherichia Coli


Escherichia coli are Enterobactericeae bacteria. This family name is derived from the fact that nearly all species in it, more or less, constantly inhabit the intestines of humans and animals. Because of its widespread presence in the environment and its ability to promote disease in humans, one of the most prominent members of this family is the species Escherichia coli. This bacterium is so common that its name has come to describe all similar bacteria as "coli form" or coli-like. This essay is about Escherichia Coli its presence in water and the methods to clean water from its presence.

Discussion E. coli occurs in enormous numbers in normal feces and is widely distributed in the intestinal canal of animals and humans. Ordinarily, it does no harm. Various species of E. coli are of special importance to medical and sanitation personnel because certain serotypes cause intestinal and urinary tract infections and are transmitted in water and milk. E. coli is very similar to Salmonella and Shigella bacteria and can only be distinguished during biochemical tests in a laboratory (Atlas 2003).

E. coli is present in health people and animals, and actually aids in the digestive processes. The majority of E. coli in the intestinal tract are not disease-causing to the host organism, but if by chance the bacteria enter the urinary tract or any other part of the host, disease occurs. Methods of contamination could include inadequate hand-washing after using the toilet, drinking contaminated water or milk, eating undercooked contaminated meat, non sterile medical procedures, and perforation of the intestines due to accident or another trauma. Normal disease symptoms include "traveler's diarrhea," vomiting, cramping, and dehydration (Edick 2002).

Since E. coli is always present in feces, and since other species of the Escherichieae tribe frequently accompany and closely resemble it, this tribe is frequently referred to as the coliform group. The presence of any of them in water, milk, or food in considerable numbers strongly suggests pollution with sewage and feces. These bacteria are easily cultured and recognized, usually remaining alive in food and water for long periods of time. The coliform group is the "indicator species" in bacteriologic examinations of water, milk and food as evidence of fecal pollution and potential infection (Atlas 2003).

The body temperature of a healthy human is the ideal temperature for E. coli O157:H7. Once it is ingested, it quickly begins to multiply and there is little to stop it and treatment is limited. The symptom that distinguishes E. coli O157:H7 from the less-toxic serotypes is the presence of bloody diarrhea, caused by the erosion of the lining of the large intestine by the bacteria's toxin (Edick 2002). The result of this discovery is that meat processing plants have begun to use more comprehensive testing methods and sanitary measures in the handling and processing of the carcasses, and the food establishments are following the guidelines for minimum-temperature cooking and prevention of cross-contamination by proper food handling ...
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