Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

CDC: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce is over

(HealthDay)—The Escherichia coli outbreak linked to California-grown romaine lettuce appears to be over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Health

FDA warns of raw cookie dough dangers

(HealthDay)—As tempting as it might be to sample some raw dough while you're making a batch of cookies this holiday season, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the guilty pleasure could make you very sick.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Soil bacteria provide a promising E. coli treatment

E. coli, the notorious bug associated with severe food poisoning and usually caught from undercooked meat, is a common concern for anyone cooking over the festive period.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The potentially deadly bacterium that's on everyone's skin

Forget MRSA and E. coli, there's another bacterium that is becoming increasingly dangerous due to antibiotic resistance—and it's present on the skin of every person on the planet.

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Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli (commonly E. coli; pronounced /ˌɛʃɪˈrɪkiə ˈkoʊlaɪ/, /iː ~/, and named for its discoverer), is a Gram negative bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine.

E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. The bacteria can also be grown easily and its genetics are comparatively simple and easily-manipulated or duplicated through a process of metagenics, making it one of the best-studied prokaryotic model organisms, and an important species in biotechnology and microbiology.

E. coli was discovered by German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich in 1885, and is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-proteobacteria.

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