Coli : Bacteria ( Viruses )

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E. coli, Bacteria (Domain), Proteobacteria (Phylum), Gammaproteobacteria (Class), Enterobacteriales (Order), Enterobacteriaceae (Family), Escherichia (Genus), coli (Species), is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium, with optimum growing temperatures at 37° C. This bacterium is commonly found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals. E. coli makes up about 0.1% of gut flora and most strains are harmless. Some are part of the normal gut flora and help their host by producing vitamin K2 and preventing colonization of the intestine with pathogenic bacteria (CDC, 2014). E. coli makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present, but can switch to fermentation or anaerobic respiration if oxygen is limited or absent. The end product of fermentation is lactate, succinate, ethanol, acetate, and carbon dioxide (CDC, 2014; EPA, 2014). Even though E. coli normally lives in the intestines, and most strains are harmless, some strains can cause diarrhea. This bacterium is also responsible for numerous contaminated reports of food and beverages (Bertone et al., 1990). The most widely known strain, E. coli 0157:H7, produces a toxin called shiga toxin, which is identical to the shigella dysenteria type 1 bacteria. E. coli 0157:H7 is known for causing over 100,000 illnesses, 3,000 hospitalizations, and 90 deaths annually in the United States (CDC, 2014). The incubation period is, typically, 3-4 days, but can range anywhere from one to ten days. Once
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