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Habitat of E. coli
Some of the characteristics are:
- E. coli was discovered by Theodor Escherich in 1885 after isolating it from the feces of newborns.
- E. coli is the normal flora of the human body.
- The niche of E. coli depends upon the availability of the nutrients within the intestine of host organisms.
- The primary habitat of E. coli is in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humans and many other warm-blooded animals.
- It is found in the mucus or the epithelium on the wall of the intestine.
- Most commonly found in the colon of the large intestine.
- Most of them are harmless and opportunistic.
- E. coli form a mutual relationship with its host.
- E. coli helps with the absorption of vitamin K and other vitamins in the colon.
- It is the largest group of bacteria living in the intestine.
- E. coli constitute about 0.1% to 1% of GI tract bacteria.
- It is a facultative aerobe.
- E. coli is also found in human feces.
- When E. coli is excreted from the intestinal tract, the bacteria are able to survive only for a few hours.
- E. coli is found outside the body in the faecally contaminated environments such as water or mud or sediments.
- If E. coli comes in contact with raw vegetables, it has the potential to attach itself to the leaves of the vegetable.
- E. coli can also be found in environments at a higher temperature, such as on the edge of hot springs.
- E. coli is also found on ground meats due to slaughterhouse processing.
- Humans are most likely to be infected with E. coli O157: H7 found in cattle.