DANIELA BECKMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DANIELA BECKMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Culture of Escherichia coli on MacConkey agar. E. coli are gram-negative rod-shaped, facultative anaerobic bacteria that normally inhabit the human and mammal intestine and support digestion. Though harmless in their natural environment they can cause opportunistic infections when they arrive from intestine to other body regions, most commonly the urinary-tract. There also exist some pathogenic E. coli species such enterotoxigenic (ETEC) and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), enteroinvasive (EIEC) and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) which are associated with contaminated water and food and cause diarrhoeal diseases.
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