E.coli Bacteria is Living Among Us Like Never Before

By: Wangeci Kinyanjui

The E.coli bacteria also known as the Escherichia coli bacteria are bacteria that are mainly found in human and animal intestines and also in their feces. They are usually regarded as harmless bacteria to humans but just like any other type of bacteria, they are able to contain strains that may in the long run prove to be dangerous to people. An example of such a strain that may cause problems to people is the serotype strain believed to be the main cause of food poisoning.

However, the E.coli bacteria are not always confined in the intestines. The bacteria are said to have the ability to survive outside the body of the host organism for some estimated period. This ability makes them ideal organisms to be used in the environmental tests of fecal contamination. One of these tests is the coliform bacteria count in water. The E.coli bacteria are checked out for in the water samples obtained from water bodies being tested and once they are spotted, the water is confirmed to be recently contaminated with feces.

The E.coli bacteria belongs to the facultative group of the anaerobic bacteria and just as the name of the group suggests, the bacteria are able to survive in places where oxygen is present and when it is not available the bacteria can use other electron acceptors like iron, sulfate and possibly carbon monoxide which appears not to harm the organism. This way, the bacteria are able to continue to survive in the two kinds of environments something that is not common for many organisms on earth.

When subjected to the Gram stain experiment, the E.coli bacteria stains pink in color meaning that the bacteria would be categorized in the group of the thin layered bacteria commonly referred to as the "Gram-negative" bacteria. This explains why the E.coli bacteria is somehow resistant to the varying types of antibiotics. It is believed that the Gram-negative bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics compared to their Gram-positive bacteria counterparts.

Due to the ability of the E.coli bacteria to possess several strains, different types of antibiotics are needed to be administered each time a certain infection belonging to a particular strain is diagnosed by the doctor. This usually proves to be tricky to many doctors as they are supposed to know each kind of antibiotic that is required to treat a given kind of infection that is caused by a particular strain.

Some of the antibiotics that are commonly used to treat the infections caused by the E.coli bacteria include; aztreonam, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, nitrofurantoin, semi-synthetic penicillins and even the aminoglycosides.

To avoid being infected by the E.coli bacteria, always ensure that you maintain high standards of sanitation whenever you handle food. This could mean that you wash both your hands and the food that you are about to eat with running water and if you are cooking it, make sure that it is properly cooked. Another thing to do, is to always treat drinking water either by boiling it or disinfecting it by recommended disinfectants in order to prevent ingesting any form of the E.coli bacteria.

Now that you know and understand about the E.coli bacteria, ensure that you avoid consuming it in whatever way.

Wangeci Kinyanjui is an expert on research and reporting on Health Matters for years.To get more information on E.Coli bacteria visit her site at E.COLI BACTERIA

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