Bacillus coli communis Escherich 1885
Escherichia coli ( // ), also known as E. coli ( // ), is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped, coliform bacterium of the genus Escherichia that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in their hosts, and are occasionally responsible for product recalls due to food contamination. The harmless strains are part of the normal microbiota of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, and preventing colonization of the intestine with pathogenic bacteria, having a symbiotic relationship. E. coli is expelled into the environment within fecal matter. The bacterium grows massively in fresh fecal matter under aerobic conditions for 3 days, but its numbers decline slowly afterwards.
Gram-negative bacteria are bacteria that do not retain the crystal violet stain used in the gram-staining method of bacterial differentiation. They are characterized by their cell envelopes, which are composed of a thin peptidoglycan cell wall sandwiched between an inner cytoplasmic cell membrane and a bacterial outer membrane.
A facultative anaerobe is an organism that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation if oxygen is absent.
A bacillus or bacilliform bacterium is a rod-shaped bacterium or archaeon. Bacilli are found in many different taxonomic groups of bacteria. However, the name Bacillus capitalized and italicized, refers to a specific genus of bacteria. The name Bacilli, capitalized but not italicized, can also refer to a less specific taxonomic group of bacteria that includes two orders, one of which contains the genus Bacillus. When the word is formatted with lowercase and not italicized, 'bacillus', it will most likely be referring to shape and not to the genus at all. Bacilliform bacteria are also often simply called rods when the bacteriologic context is clear. Sea Bacilli usually divide in the same plane and are solitary, but can combine to form diplobacilli, streptobacilli, and palisades.
E. coli and other facultative anaerobes constitute about 0.1% of gut microbiota,and fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease. Cells are able to survive outside the body for a limited amount of time, which makes them potential indicator organisms to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. A growing body of research, though, has examined environmentally persistent E. coli which can survive for and grow outside a host.
The fecal–oral route describes a particular route of transmission of a disease wherein pathogens in fecal particles pass from one person to the mouth of another person. Main causes of fecal–oral disease transmission include lack of adequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices. If soil or water bodies are polluted with fecal material, humans can be infected with waterborne diseases or soil-transmitted diseases. Fecal contamination of food is another form of fecal-oral transmission. Washing hands properly after changing a baby's diaper or after performing anal hygiene can prevent foodborne illness from spreading.
Indicator organisms are used as a proxy to monitor conditions in a particular environment, ecosystem, area, habitat, or consumer product. Certain bacteria, fungi and helminth eggs are being used for various purposes.
Feces are the solid or semisolid remains of food that could not be digested in the small intestine. Bacteria in the large intestine further break down the material. Feces contain a relatively small amount of metabolic waste products such as bacterially altered bilirubin, and the dead epithelial cells from the lining of the gut.
The bacterium can be grown and cultured easily and inexpensively in a laboratory setting, and has been intensively investigated for over 60 years. E. coli is a chemoheterotroph whose chemically defined medium must include a source of carbon and energy.E. coli is the most widely studied prokaryotic model organism, and an important species in the fields of biotechnology and microbiology, where it has served as the host organism for the majority of work with recombinant DNA. Under favorable conditions, it takes as little as 20 minutes to reproduce.
A prokaryote is a unicellular organism that lacks a membrane-bound nucleus, mitochondria, or any other membrane-bound organelle. The word prokaryote comes from the Greek πρό and κάρυον. Prokaryotes are divided into two domains, Archaea and Bacteria. Species with nuclei and organelles are placed in the third domain, Eukaryota. Prokaryotes are asexual, reproducing without fusion of gametes. The first living organisms are thought to have been prokaryotes. The term prokaryote however is now used informally to refer to bacteria and archaea as in the late 1970s Carl Woese determined that bacteria and archea were less closely related than previously thought.
A model organism is a non-human species that is extensively studied to understand particular biological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in the model organism will provide insight into the workings of other organisms. Model organisms are widely used to research human disease when human experimentation would be unfeasible or unethical. This strategy is made possible by the common descent of all living organisms, and the conservation of metabolic and developmental pathways and genetic material over the course of evolution.
Biotechnology is the broad area of biology involving living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use". Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the (related) fields of molecular biology, bio-engineering, biomedical engineering, biomanufacturing, molecular engineering, etc.
E. coli is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobe (that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but is capable of switching to fermentation or anaerobic respiration if oxygen is absent) and nonsporulating bacterium. μm in diameter, with a cell volume of 0.6–0.7 μm3.Cells are typically rod-shaped, and are about 2.0 μm long and 0.25–1.0
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When consumed in metabolic processes, it converts either to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Other processes regenerate ATP so that the human body recycles its own body weight equivalent in ATP each day. It is also a precursor to DNA and RNA, and is used as a coenzyme.
Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group in the periodic table, a highly reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O
2. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere. As compounds including oxides, the element makes up almost half of the Earth's crust.
Anaerobic respiration is respiration using electron acceptors other than molecular oxygen (O2). Although oxygen is not the final electron acceptor, the process still uses a respiratory electron transport chain.
E. coli stains Gram-negative because its cell wall is composed of a thin peptidoglycan layer and an outer membrane. During the staining process, E. coli picks up the color of the counterstain safranin and stains pink. The outer membrane surrounding the cell wall provides a barrier to certain antibiotics such that E. coli is not damaged by penicillin.
Safranin is a biological stain used in histology and cytology. Safranin is used as a counterstain in some staining protocols, colouring cell nuclei red. This is the classic counterstain in both Gram stains and endospore staining. It can also be used for the detection of cartilage, mucin and mast cell granules.
Strains that possess flagella are motile. The flagella have a peritrichous arrangement.It also attaches and effaces to the microvilli of the intestines via an adhesion molecule known as intimin.
A flagellum is a lash-like appendage that protrudes from the cell body of certain bacteria and eukaryotic cells termed as flagellates. A flagellate can have one or several flagella. The primary function of a flagellum is that of locomotion, but it also often functions as a sensory organelle, being sensitive to chemicals and temperatures outside the cell. The similar structure in the archaea functions in the same way but is structurally different and has been termed the archaellum.
Motility is the ability of an organism to move independently, using metabolic energy. This is in contrast to mobility, which describes the ability of an object to be moved. Motility is genetically determined, but may be affected by environmental factors. For instance, muscles give animals motility but the consumption of hydrogen cyanide would adversely affect muscle physiology, causing them to stiffen, leading to rigor mortis. In addition to animal locomotion, most animals are motile. The term applies to bacteria and other microorganisms, and to some multicellular organisms, as well as to some mechanisms of fluid flow in multicellular organs and tissue. Motile marine animals are commonly called free-swimming, and motile non-parasitic organisms are called free-living.
Intimin is a virulence factor (adhesin) of EPEC and EHEC E. coli strains. It is an attaching and effacing (A/E) protein, which with other virulence factors is necessary and responsible for enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic diarrhoea.
E. coli can live on a wide variety of substrates and uses mixed acid fermentation in anaerobic conditions, producing lactate, succinate, ethanol, acetate, and carbon dioxide. Since many pathways in mixed-acid fermentation produce hydrogen gas, these pathways require the levels of hydrogen to be low, as is the case when E. coli lives together with hydrogen-consuming organisms, such as methanogens or sulphate-reducing bacteria.
Optimum growth of E. coli occurs at 37 °C (98.6 °F), but some laboratory strains can multiply at temperatures up to 49 °C (120 °F). E. coli grows in a variety of defined laboratory media, such as lysogeny broth, or any medium that contains glucose, ammonium phosphate monobasic, sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate, potassium phosphate dibasic, and water. Growth can be driven by aerobic or anaerobic respiration, using a large variety of redox pairs, including the oxidation of pyruvic acid, formic acid, hydrogen, and amino acids, and the reduction of substrates such as oxygen, nitrate, fumarate, dimethyl sulfoxide, and trimethylamine N-oxide. E. coli is classified as a facultative anaerobe. It uses oxygen when it is present and available. It can, however, continue to grow in the absence of oxygen using fermentation or anaerobic respiration. The ability to continue growing in the absence of oxygen is an advantage to bacteria because their survival is increased in environments where water predominates.
The bacterial cell cycle is divided into three stages. The B period occurs between the completion of cell division and the beginning of DNA replication. The C period encompasses the time it takes to replicate the chromosomal DNA. The D period refers to the stage between the conclusion of DNA replication and the end of cell division.The doubling rate of E. coli is higher when more nutrients are available. However, the length of the C and D periods do not change, even when the doubling time becomes less than the sum of the C and D periods. At the fastest growth rates, replication begins before the previous round of replication has completed, resulting in multiple replication forks along the DNA and overlapping cell cycles.
E. coli and related bacteria possess the ability to transfer DNA via bacterial conjugation or transduction, which allows genetic material to spread horizontally through an existing population. The process of transduction, which uses the bacterial virus called a bacteriophage,is where the spread of the gene encoding for the Shiga toxin from the Shigella bacteria to E. coli helped produce E. coli O157:H7, the Shiga toxin-producing strain of E. coli.
E. coli encompasses an enormous population of bacteria that exhibit a very high degree of both genetic and phenotypic diversity. Genome sequencing of many isolates of E. coli and related bacteria shows that a taxonomic reclassification would be desirable. However, this has not been done, largely due to its medical importance,and E. coli remains one of the most diverse bacterial species: only 20% of the genes in a typical E. coli genome is shared among all strains.
In fact, from the more constructive point of view, the members of genus Shigella (S. dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. boydii, and S. sonnei) should be classified as E. coli strains, a phenomenon termed taxa in disguise.Similarly, other strains of E. coli (e.g. the K-12 strain commonly used in recombinant DNA work) are sufficiently different that they would merit reclassification.
A strain is a subgroup within the species that has unique characteristics that distinguish it from other strains. These differences are often detectable only at the molecular level; however, they may result in changes to the physiology or lifecycle of the bacterium. For example, a strain may gain pathogenic capacity, the ability to use a unique carbon source, the ability to take upon a particular ecological niche, or the ability to resist antimicrobial agents. Different strains of E. coli are often host-specific, making it possible to determine the source of fecal contamination in environmental samples.For example, knowing which E. coli strains are present in a water sample allows researchers to make assumptions about whether the contamination originated from a human, another mammal, or a bird.
A common subdivision system of E. coli, but not based on evolutionary relatedness, is by serotype, which is based on major surface antigens (O antigen: part of lipopolysaccharide layer; H: flagellin; K antigen: capsule), e.g. O157:H7).It is, however, common to cite only the serogroup, i.e. the O-antigen. At present, about 190 serogroups are known. The common laboratory strain has a mutation that prevents the formation of an O-antigen and is thus not typeable.
Like all lifeforms, new strains of E. coli evolve through the natural biological processes of mutation, gene duplication, and horizontal gene transfer; in particular, 18% of the genome of the laboratory strain MG1655 was horizontally acquired since the divergence from Salmonella .E. coli K-12 and E. coli B strains are the most frequently used varieties for laboratory purposes. Some strains develop traits that can be harmful to a host animal. These virulent strains typically cause a bout of diarrhea that is often self-limiting in healthy adults but is frequently lethal to children in the developing world. More virulent strains, such as O157:H7, cause serious illness or death in the elderly, the very young, or the immunocompromised.
The genera Escherichia and Salmonella diverged around 102 million years ago (credibility interval: 57–176 mya), which coincides with the divergence of their hosts: the former being found in mammals and the latter in birds and reptiles. This was followed by a split of an Escherichia ancestor into five species (E. albertii, E. coli, E. fergusonii, E. hermannii, and E. vulneris). The last E. coli ancestor split between 20 and 30 million years ago.
The long-term evolution experiments using E. coli, begun by Richard Lenski in 1988, have allowed direct observation of genome evolution over more than 65,000 generations in the laboratory.For instance, E. coli typically do not have the ability to grow aerobically with citrate as a carbon source, which is used as a diagnostic criterion with which to differentiate E. coli from other, closely, related bacteria such as Salmonella . In this experiment, one population of E. coli unexpectedly evolved the ability to aerobically metabolize citrate, a major evolutionary shift with some hallmarks of microbial speciation.
E. coli is the type species of the genus (Escherichia) and in turn Escherichia is the type genus of the family Enterobacteriaceae, where the family name does not stem from the genus Enterobacter + "i" (sic.) + "aceae", but from "enterobacterium" + "aceae" (enterobacterium being not a genus, but an alternative trivial name to enteric bacterium).
The original strain described by Escherich is believed to be lost, consequently a new type strain (neotype) was chosen as a representative: the neotype strain is U5/41T,also known under the deposit names DSM 30083, ATCC 11775, and NCTC 9001, which is pathogenic to chickens and has an O1:K1:H7 serotype. However, in most studies, either O157:H7, K-12 MG1655, or K-12 W3110 were used as a representative E. coli. The genome of the type strain has only lately been sequenced.
Many strains belonging to this species have been isolated and characterised. In addition to serotype (vide supra), they can be classified according to their phylogeny, i.e. the inferred evolutionary history, as shown below where the species is divided into six groups.Particularly the use of whole genome sequences yields highly supported phylogenies. Based on such data, five subspecies of E. coli were distinguished.
The link between phylogenetic distance ("relatedness") and pathology is small,e.g. the O157:H7 serotype strains, which form a clade ("an exclusive group")—group E below—are all enterohaemorragic strains (EHEC), but not all EHEC strains are closely related. In fact, four different species of Shigella are nested among E. coli strains (vide supra), while E. albertii and E. fergusonii are outside this group. Indeed, all Shigella species were placed within a single subspecies of E. coli in a phylogenomic study that included the type strain, and for this reason an according reclassification is difficult. All commonly used research strains of E. coli belong to group A and are derived mainly from Clifton's K-12 strain (λ⁺ F⁺; O16) and to a lesser degree from d'Herelle's Bacillus coli strain (B strain)(O7).
The first complete DNA sequence of an E. coli genome (laboratory strain K-12 derivative MG1655) was published in 1997. It is a circular DNA molecule 4.6 million base pairs in length, containing 4288 annotated protein-coding genes (organized into 2584 operons), seven ribosomal RNA (rRNA) operons, and 86 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. Despite having been the subject of intensive genetic analysis for about 40 years, many of these genes were previously unknown. The coding density was found to be very high, with a mean distance between genes of only 118 base pairs. The genome was observed to contain a significant number of transposable genetic elements, repeat elements, cryptic prophages, and bacteriophage remnants.
More than three hundred complete genomic sequences of Escherichia and Shigella species are known. The genome sequence of the type strain of E. coli was added to this collection before 2014.Comparison of these sequences shows a remarkable amount of diversity; only about 20% of each genome represents sequences present in every one of the isolates, while around 80% of each genome can vary among isolates. Each individual genome contains between 4,000 and 5,500 genes, but the total number of different genes among all of the sequenced E. coli strains (the pangenome) exceeds 16,000. This very large variety of component genes has been interpreted to mean that two-thirds of the E. coli pangenome originated in other species and arrived through the process of horizontal gene transfer.
Genes in E. coli are usually named by 4-letter acronyms that derive from their function (when known) and italicized. For instance, recA is named after its role in homologous recombination plus the letter A. Functionally related genes are named recB, recC, recD etc. The proteins are named by uppercase acronyms, e.g. RecA, RecB, etc. When the genome of E. coli was sequenced, all genes were numbered (more or less) in their order on the genome and abbreviated by b numbers, such as b2819 (= recD). The "b" names were created after Fred Blattner, who led the genome sequence effort.Another numbering system was introduced with the sequence of another E. coli strain, W3110, which was sequenced in Japan and hence uses numbers starting by JW... (Japanese W3110), e.g. JW2787 (= recD). Hence, recD = b2819 = JW2787. Note, however, that most databases have their own numbering system, e.g. the EcoGene database uses EG10826 for recD. Finally, ECK numbers are specifically used for alleles in the MG1655 strain of E. coli K-12. Complete lists of genes and their synonyms can be obtained from databases such as EcoGene or Uniprot.
Several studies have investigated the proteome of E. coli. By 2006, 1,627 (38%) of the 4,237 open reading frames (ORFs) had been identified experimentally.The 4,639,221–base pair sequence of Escherichia coli K-12 is presented. Of 4288 protein-coding genes annotated, 38 percent have no attributed function. Comparison with five other sequenced microbes reveals ubiquitous as well as narrowly distributed gene families; many families of similar genes within E. coli are also evident. The largest family of paralogous proteins contains 80 ABC transporters. The genome as a whole is strikingly organized with respect to the local direction of replication; guanines, oligonucleotides possibly related to replication and recombination, and most genes are so oriented. The genome also contains insertion sequence (IS) elements, phage remnants, and many other patches of unusual composition indicating genome plasticity through horizontal transfer.
The interactome of E. coli has been studied by affinity purification and mass spectrometry (AP/MS) and by analyzing the binary interactions among its proteins.
Protein complexes. A 2006 study purified 4,339 proteins from cultures of strain K-12 and found interacting partners for 2,667 proteins, many of which had unknown functions at the time.A 2009 study found 5,993 interactions between proteins of the same E. coli strain, though these data showed little overlap with those of the 2006 publication.
Binary interactions. Rajagopala et al. (2014) have carried out systematic yeast two-hybrid screens with most E. coli proteins, and found a total of 2,234 protein-protein interactions.This study also integrated genetic interactions and protein structures and mapped 458 interactions within 227 protein complexes.
E. coli belongs to a group of bacteria informally known as coliforms that are found in the gastrointestinal tract of warm-blooded animals.E. coli normally colonizes an infant's gastrointestinal tract within 40 hours of birth, arriving with food or water or from the individuals handling the child. In the bowel, E. coli adheres to the mucus of the large intestine. It is the primary facultative anaerobe of the human gastrointestinal tract. (Facultative anaerobes are organisms that can grow in either the presence or absence of oxygen.) As long as these bacteria do not acquire genetic elements encoding for virulence factors, they remain benign commensals.
Nonpathogenic E. coli strain Nissle 1917, (Mutaflor) and E. coli O83:K24:H31 (Colinfant)) are used as probiotic agents in medicine, mainly for the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease.
Most E. coli strains do not cause disease, naturally living in the gut,but virulent strains can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, hemorrhagic colitis, and Crohn's disease. Common signs and symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, vomiting, and sometimes fever. In rarer cases, virulent strains are also responsible for bowel necrosis (tissue death) and perforation without progressing to hemolytic-uremic syndrome, peritonitis, mastitis, sepsis, and Gram-negative pneumonia. Very young children are more susceptible to develop severe illness, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome; however, healthy individuals of all ages are at risk to the severe consequences that may arise as a result of being infected with E. coli.
Some strains of E. coli, for example O157:H7, can produce Shiga toxin (classified as a bioterrorism agent). The Shiga toxin causes inflammatory responses in target cells of the gut, leaving behind lesions which result in the bloody diarrhea that is a symptom of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection. This toxin further causes premature destruction of the red blood cells, which then clog the body's filtering system, the kidneys, in some rare cases (usually in children and the elderly) causing hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which may lead to kidney failure and even death. Signs of hemolytic uremic syndrome include decreased frequency of urination, lethargy, and paleness of cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. In 25% of HUS patients, complications of nervous system occur, which in turn causes strokes. In addition, this strain causes the buildup of fluid (since the kidneys do not work), leading to edema around the lungs and legs and arms. This increase in fluid buildup especially around the lungs impedes the functioning of the heart, causing an increase in blood pressure.
Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) is one of the main causes of urinary tract infections.It is part of the normal microbiota in the gut and can be introduced in many ways. In particular for females, the direction of wiping after defecation (wiping back to front) can lead to fecal contamination of the urogenital orifices. Anal intercourse can also introduce this bacterium into the male urethra, and in switching from anal to vaginal intercourse, the male can also introduce UPEC to the female urogenital system.
Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is the most common cause of traveler's diarrhea, with as many as 840 million cases worldwide in developing countries each year. The bacteria, typically transmitted through contaminated food or drinking water, adheres to the intestinal lining, where it secretes either of two types of enterotoxins, leading to watery diarrhea. The rate and severity of infections are higher among children under the age of five, including as many as 380,000 deaths annually.
In May 2011, one E. coli strain, O104:H4, was the subject of a bacterial outbreak that began in Germany. Certain strains of E. coli are a major cause of foodborne illness. The outbreak started when several people in Germany were infected with enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria, leading to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment. The outbreak did not only concern Germany, but also 15 other countries, including regions in North America.On 30 June 2011, the German Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR) (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, a federal institute within the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) announced that seeds of fenugreek from Egypt were likely the cause of the EHEC outbreak.
The time between ingesting the STEC bacteria and feeling sick is called the "incubation period". The incubation period is usually 3–4 days after the exposure, but may be as short as 1 day or as long as 10 days. The symptoms often begin slowly with mild belly pain or non-bloody diarrhea that worsens over several days. HUS, if it occurs, develops an average 7 days after the first symptoms, when the diarrhea is improving.
The mainstay of treatment is the assessment of dehydration and replacement of fluid and electrolytes. Administration of antibiotics has been shown to shorten the course of illness and duration of excretion of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in adults in endemic areas and in traveller's diarrhea, though the rate of resistance to commonly used antibiotics is increasing and they are generally not recommended.The antibiotic used depends upon susceptibility patterns in the particular geographical region. Currently, the antibiotics of choice are fluoroquinolones or azithromycin, with an emerging role for rifaximin. Oral rifaximin, a semisynthetic rifamycin derivative, is an effective and well-tolerated antibacterial for the management of adults with non-invasive traveller's diarrhea. Rifaximin was significantly more effective than placebo and no less effective than ciprofloxacin in reducing the duration of diarrhea. While rifaximin is effective in patients with E. coli-predominant traveller's diarrhea, it appears ineffective in patients infected with inflammatory or invasive enteropathogens.
ETEC is the type of E. coli that most vaccine development efforts are focused on. Antibodies against the LT and major CFs of ETEC provide protection against LT-producing, ETEC-expressing homologous CFs. Oral inactivated vaccines consisting of toxin antigen and whole cells, i.e. the licensed recombinant cholera B subunit (rCTB)-WC cholera vaccine Dukoral, have been developed. There are currently no licensed vaccines for ETEC, though several are in various stages of development.In different trials, the rCTB-WC cholera vaccine provided high (85–100%) short-term protection. An oral ETEC vaccine candidate consisting of rCTB and formalin inactivated E. coli bacteria expressing major CFs has been shown in clinical trials to be safe, immunogenic, and effective against severe diarrhoea in American travelers but not against ETEC diarrhoea in young children in Egypt. A modified ETEC vaccine consisting of recombinant E. coli strains over-expressing the major CFs and a more LT-like hybrid toxoid called LCTBA, are undergoing clinical testing.
Other proven prevention methods for E. coli transmission include handwashing and improved sanitation and drinking water, as transmission occurs through fecal contamination of food and water supplies. Additionally, thoroughly cooking meat and avoiding consumption of raw, unpasteurized beverages, such as juices and milk are other proven methods for preventing E.coli. Lastly, avoid cross-contamination of utensils and work spaces when preparing food.
Because of its long history of laboratory culture and ease of manipulation, E. coli plays an important role in modern biological engineering and industrial microbiology.The work of Stanley Norman Cohen and Herbert Boyer in E. coli, using plasmids and restriction enzymes to create recombinant DNA, became a foundation of biotechnology.
E. coli is a very versatile host for the production of heterologous proteins,and various protein expression systems have been developed which allow the production of recombinant proteins in E. coli. Researchers can introduce genes into the microbes using plasmids which permit high level expression of protein, and such protein may be mass-produced in industrial fermentation processes. One of the first useful applications of recombinant DNA technology was the manipulation of E. coli to produce human insulin.
Many proteins previously thought difficult or impossible to be expressed in E. coli in folded form have been successfully expressed in E. coli. For example, proteins with multiple disulphide bonds may be produced in the periplasmic space or in the cytoplasm of mutants rendered sufficiently oxidizing to allow disulphide-bonds to form,while proteins requiring post-translational modification such as glycosylation for stability or function have been expressed using the N-linked glycosylation system of Campylobacter jejuni engineered into E. coli.
Modified E. coli cells have been used in vaccine development, bioremediation, production of biofuels,lighting, and production of immobilised enzymes.
Strain K-12 is a mutant form of E. coli that over-expresses the enzyme Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP).The mutation arises due to a defect in the gene that constantly codes for the enzyme. A gene that is producing a product without any inhibition is said to have constitutive activity. This particular mutant form is used to isolate and purify the aforementioned enzyme.
Strain OP50 of Escherichia coli is used for maintenance of Caenorhabditis elegans cultures.
Strain JM109 is a mutant form of E. coli that is recA and endA deficient. The strain can be utilized for blue/white screening when the cells carry the fertility factor episomeLack of recA decreases the possibility of unwanted restriction of the DNA of interest and lack of endA inhibit plasmid DNA decomposition. Thus, JM109 is useful for cloning and expression systems.
E. coli is frequently used as a model organism in microbiology studies. Cultivated strains (e.g. E. coli K12) are well-adapted to the laboratory environment, and, unlike wild-type strains, have lost their ability to thrive in the intestine. Many laboratory strains lose their ability to form biofilms.These features protect wild-type strains from antibodies and other chemical attacks, but require a large expenditure of energy and material resources. E. coli is often used as a representative microorganism in the research of novel water treatment and sterilisation methods, including photocatalysis. By standard plate count methods, following sequential dilutions, and growth on agar gel plates, the concentration of viable organisms or CFUs (Colony Forming Units), in a known volume of treated water can be evaluated, allowing the comparative assessment of materials performance.
In 1946, Joshua Lederberg and Edward Tatum first described the phenomenon known as bacterial conjugation using E. coli as a model bacterium,and it remains the primary model to study conjugation. E. coli was an integral part of the first experiments to understand phage genetics, and early researchers, such as Seymour Benzer, used E. coli and phage T4 to understand the topography of gene structure. Prior to Benzer's research, it was not known whether the gene was a linear structure, or if it had a branching pattern.
E. coli was one of the first organisms to have its genome sequenced; the complete genome of E. coli K12 was published by Science in 1997
From 2002 to 2010, a team at the Hungarian Academy of Science created a strain of Escherichia coli called MDS42, which is now sold by Scarab Genomics of Madison, WI under the name of "Clean Genome. E.coli",where 15% of the genome of the parental strain (E. coli K-12 MG1655) were removed to aid in molecular biology efficiency, removing IS elements, pseudogenes and phages, resulting in better maintenance of plasmid-encoded toxic genes, which are often inactivated by transposons. Biochemistry and replication machinery were not altered.
By evaluating the possible combination of nanotechnologies with landscape ecology, complex habitat landscapes can be generated with details at the nanoscale.On such synthetic ecosystems, evolutionary experiments with E. coli have been performed to study the spatial biophysics of adaptation in an island biogeography on-chip.
Studies are also being performed attempting to program E. coli to solve complicated mathematics problems, such as the Hamiltonian path problem.
In 1885, the German-Austrian pediatrician Theodor Escherich discovered this organism in the feces of healthy individuals. He called it Bacterium coli commune because it is found in the colon. Early classifications of prokaryotes placed these in a handful of genera based on their shape and motility (at that time Ernst Haeckel's classification of bacteria in the kingdom Monera was in place).
Bacterium coli was the type species of the now invalid genus Bacterium when it was revealed that the former type species ("Bacterium triloculare") was missing.Following a revision of Bacterium, it was reclassified as Bacillus coli by Migula in 1895 and later reclassified in the newly created genus Escherichia , named after its original discoverer.
Bacterium coli has since been used for biological lab experiment research. Infection can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), characterized by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and renal injury.
In 1996 the world's worst outbreak of E. coli food poisoning occurred in Wishaw, Scotland, killing 20 people.
Bacterial conjugation is the transfer of genetic material between bacterial cells by direct cell-to-cell contact or by a bridge-like connection between two cells. This takes place through a pilus.
Enterobacteria phage λ is a bacterial virus, or bacteriophage, that infects the bacterial species Escherichia coli. It was discovered by Esther Lederberg in 1950. The wild type of this virus has a temperate life cycle that allows it to either reside within the genome of its host through lysogeny or enter into a lytic phase, during which it kills and lyses the cell to produce offspring. Lambda strains, mutated at specific sites, are unable to lysogenize cells; instead, they grow and enter the lytic cycle after superinfecting an already lysogenized cell.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a serotype of the bacterial species Escherichia coli and is one of the Shiga toxin–producing types of E. coli. It is a cause of disease, typically foodborne illness, through consumption of contaminated and raw food, including raw milk and undercooked ground beef. Infection with this type of pathogenic bacteria may lead to hemorrhagic diarrhea, and to kidney failure; these have been reported to cause the deaths of children younger than five years of age, of elderly patients, and of patients whose immune systems are otherwise compromised.
Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative, comma-shaped bacterium. The bacterium's natural habitat is brackish or saltwater and attach themselves easily to the chitin-containing shells of crabs, shrimps, and other shellfish. Some strains of V. cholerae cause the disease cholera, which can be derived from the consumption of undercooked or raw marine life species. V. cholerae is a facultative anaerobe and has a flagellum at one cell pole as well as pili. V. cholerae can undergo respiratory and fermentative metabolism. When ingested, V. cholerae can cause diarrhea and vomiting in a host within several hours to 2–3 days of ingestion. V. cholerae was first isolated as the cause of cholera by Italian anatomist Filippo Pacini in 1854, but his discovery was not widely known until Robert Koch, working independently 30 years later, publicized the knowledge and the means of fighting the disease.
Shigella is a genus of bacteria that is Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, non-spore-forming, nonmotile, rod-shaped and genetically closely related to E. coli. The genus is named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first discovered it in 1897.
Shiga toxins are a family of related toxins with two major groups, Stx1 and Stx2, expressed by genes considered to be part of the genome of lambdoid prophages. The toxins are named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first described the bacterial origin of dysentery caused by Shigella dysenteriae. Shiga-like toxin (SLT) is a historical term for similar or identical toxins produced by Escherichia coli. The most common sources for Shiga toxin are the bacteria S. dysenteriae and some serotypes of Escherichia coli (STEC), which includes serotypes O157:H7, and O104:H4.
RecA is a 38 kilodalton protein essential for the repair and maintenance of DNA. A RecA structural and functional homolog has been found in every species in which one has been seriously sought and serves as an archetype for this class of homologous DNA repair proteins. The homologous protein is called RAD51 in eukaryotes and RadA in archaea.
Adhesins are cell-surface components or appendages of bacteria that facilitate adhesion or adherence to other cells or to surfaces, usually the host they are infecting or living in. Adhesins are a type of virulence factor.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of Escherichia coli and one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhea in the developing world, as well as the most common cause of travelers' diarrhea. Insufficient data exist, but conservative estimates suggest that each year, about 157,000 deaths occur, mostly in children, from ETEC. A number of pathogenic isolates are termed ETEC, but the main hallmarks of this type of bacteria are expression of one or more enterotoxins and presence of fimbriae used for attachment to host intestinal cells. The bacteria was identified by the Bradley Sack lab in Kolkata in 1968.
The fertility factor allows genes to be transferred from one bacterium carrying the factor to another bacterium lacking the factor by conjugation. The F factor is carried on the F episome, the first episome to be discovered. Unlike other plasmids, F factor is constitutive for transfer proteins due to a mutation in the gene finO. The F plasmid belongs to a class of conjugative plasmids that control sexual functions of bacteria with a fertility inhibition (Fin) system.
DicF RNA is a non-coding RNA that is an antisense inhibitor of cell division gene ftsZ. DicF is bound by the Hfq protein which enhances its interaction with its targets. Pathogenic E. coli strains possess multiple copies of sRNA DicF in their genomes, while no-pathogenic strains do not.DicF and Hfq are both necessary to reduce FtsZ protein levels, leading to cell filamentation under anaerobic conditions.
Pathogenomics is a field which uses high-throughput sequencing technology and bioinformatics to study encoded microbe resistance, as well as virulence factors (VFs), which enable a microorganism to infect a host and possibly cause disease. This includes studying genomes of pathogens which cannot be cultured outside of a host. In the past, researchers and medical professionals found it difficult to study and understand pathogenic traits of infectious organisms. With newer technology, pathogen genomes can be identified and sequenced in a much shorter time and at a lower cost, thus improving the ability to diagnose, treat, and even predict and prevent pathogenic infections and disease. It has also allowed researchers to better understand genome evolution events - gene loss, gain, duplication, rearrangement - and how those events impact pathogen resistance and ability to cause disease. This influx of information has created a need for making the vast amounts of data accessible to researchers in the form of databases, and it has raised ethical questions about the wisdom of reconstructing previously extinct and deadly pathogens in order to better understand virulence.
Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria whose infection causes a syndrome that is identical to shigellosis, with profuse diarrhea and high fever. EIEC are highly invasive, and they use adhesin proteins to bind to and enter intestinal cells. They produce no toxins, but severely damage the intestinal wall through mechanical cell destruction.
A toxin-antitoxin system is a set of two or more closely linked genes that together encode both a "toxin" protein and a corresponding "antitoxin". Toxin-antitoxin systems are widely distributed in prokaryotes, and organisms often have them in multiple copies. When these systems are contained on plasmids – transferable genetic elements – they ensure that only the daughter cells that inherit the plasmid survive after cell division. If the plasmid is absent in a daughter cell, the unstable antitoxin is degraded and the stable toxic protein kills the new cell; this is known as 'post-segregational killing' (PSK).
Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative gammaproteobacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). The descendants of two isolates, K-12 and B strain, are used routinely in molecular biology as both a tool and a model organism.
Escherichia coli O104:H4 is an enteroaggregative Escherichia coli strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli, and the cause of the 2011 Escherichia coli O104:H4 outbreak. The "O" in the serological classification identifies the cell wall lipopolysaccharide antigen, and the "H" identifies the flagella antigen.
Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) are strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli that produce either Shiga toxin or Shiga-like toxin (verotoxin). Only a minority of the strains cause illness in humans. The ones that do are collectively known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and are major causes of foodborne illness. When infecting humans, they often cause gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, and bloody diarrhea and sometimes cause a severe complication called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). The group and its subgroups are known by various names. They are distinguished from other strains of intestinal pathogenic E. coli including enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), and diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC).
Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but pathogenic varieties cause serious food poisoning, septic shock, meningitis, or urinary tract infections in humans Unlike normal flora E. coli, the pathogenic varieties produce toxins and other virulence factors that enable them to reside in parts of the body normally not inhabited by E. coli and to damage host cells. These pathogenic traits are encoded by virulence genes carried only by the pathogens.
The CTXφ bacteriophage is a filamentous bacteriophage that contains the genetic material needed by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium for the production of cholera toxin, or CT. CTXφ is a positive virus with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA).
The bacterial, archaeal and plant plastid code is the DNA code used by bacteria, archaea, prokaryotic viruses and chloroplast proteins. It is essentially the same as the standard code, however there are some variations in alternative start codons.
|Wikispecies has information related to Escherichia coli|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Escherichia coli .|