What is an E. Coli
What is an E. Coli?
Just to clarify, the microorganism to be discussed here is
Escherichia Coli and not Entamoeba Coli. The E. Coli, to
simply put it, is a bacterium that resides within the tracts of the digestive system. Every humans and animals
actually have this bacteria and it even aids the body to stand against harmful microorganisms and also assist in
the production of vitamin K. Those are the so-called “good bacteria” in the body. But then again, the bad
bacteria also exist to oppose the good ones. These are the types of E.
Coli that causes disease. There are too many types of E. Coli
bacteria but the most important and common ones will be discussed that usually cause harm inside the human
Is E. Coli gram negative or positive?
Knowing if the E.
Coli is gram negative or positive is important to determine the right antibiotics to take to eradicate it.
To answer the question if is the E. Coli gram negative or positive,
it is gram negative, specifically rod-shaped microorganism.
Further Explanation of the E. Coli Infection
As previously mentioned, there are many types of the
E. Coli bacteria. The two common types of it and causes harmful
effects on humans are enterohemorrhagic E. Coli and the E. Coli O157:H7 strain. These types of E. Coli bacteria can sometimes cause hematochezia or blood in the stool
accompanied by diarrhea, anemia and if left untreated, can even cause kidney failure which could cause fatality.
E. Coli Transmission
The E. Coli
bacteria can be transmitted through the fecal-oral route. Meaning, it could be passed on to other humans
whenever food or water that is infected with the bacteria is ingested. E.
Coli transmission can also occur from one person to another.
E. Coli Transmission in Food
The E. Coli could not stand the heat. Therefore, if the food, upon preparation, is
not properly washed and cooked then the bacteria still thrives and enters the human body.
E. Coli Transmission in Water
If the water ingested was not properly
distilled, the E. Coli can enter the body. One can never be sure that
the water supply system of an area is clean.
E. Coli Transmission from Person to Person
If a non-infected person gets in contact
with an infected person who doesn’t observe proper hygiene then the bacteria can be transmitted to the person
who is not infected.
Signs and Symptoms of E. Coli Infection
A person infected with the bacteria does not manifest the
signs and symptoms right away within 3 to 4 days upon contacts with the bacteria. There are cases that an
infected person isn’t even aware that he or she has been infected with E.
Coli because of recovering from the infection in about a week.
Cramps in the stomach
Nausea and/or vomiting
Though there are cases wherein the E. Coli becomes severe and may manifest these
Hyperthermia or fever due to infection
Urgency to urinate frequently but passing only a little
Diagnosis of an E. Coli Infection
Upon the doctor’s visit, a series of questions will be
asked to determine what might have caused the problem. But since the same signs and symptoms are shown in
Salmonella and Shigella
infection, a stool sample will be needed from the patient to rule out other diseases.
E. Coli Treatment
Antibiotics that are effective against gram negative
bacteria may be taken though the E. Coli bacteria can just go away
for a period of time. The focus of management should be on the symptoms rather on the bacteria itself.
Manage diarrhea by drinking enough liquids to replace the
lost fluids and electrolytes. Avoid taking loperamides or any other medicines for diarrhea if hematochezia is
present as it may worsen the condition and could even poison the body.
For worse symptoms such as hypovolemia (low blood level)
and kidney failure, immediate blood transfusion or dialysis may be needed.
Prevent E. Coli Infection
Here are many ways to be able to prevent being infected
with E. Coli:
Wash the fruit, vegetables and meat upon
Make sure to heat the food that is being cooked to at least
the bacteria will die.
Always do proper hand washing before and after handling food and after
handling anything that is dirty.
Keep the kitchen area and utensils clean.
Avoid swallowing water when swimming in public such as pools, lakes or
Upon dining outside or travelling, make sure to drink from distilled and
bottled water instead of service water.
What is an E. Coli