My Unknown Organism: Escherichia Coli

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Unknown Organism Report
I have identified my Unknown Organism #1 as Escherichia coli, or E. coli. My Unknown Organism is an anaerobic gram-negative, unicellular eubacteria. It belongs to the genus Escherichia, which is named after Theodor Escherich, a German pediatrician. E. coli is usually found in the colon of mammals, explaining the name “coli” meaning from the colon. It’s classified in the order of enterobacteriales, and the family of enterobacteriaceae. It is the most abundant bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other mammals. “Most strains are harmless, colonizing the intestines of healthy humans and animals, where they suppress the growth of pathogenic bacterial species and synthesize appreciable amounts of vitamin K
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coli is the known culprit of three infections in the human body, urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis and intestinal diseases. There are 5 classes that cause intestinal disease, ETEC, ETIC, EHEC, and EAggEC. EHEC is the most common, and has symptoms easily distinguishable from the others. The antigenic types of E. coli are based on 3 antigens; O, H and K. These antigens are proteins our body distinguishes as foreign, and our body’s immune response responds to rid of the foreign bodies. E. coli O157:H7 is named according to the antigen markers found on the bacteria’s cell surface. An E. coli O157:H7 infection can lead to a severe life threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. HUS can result in kidney failure and loss of red blood cells. This infection has also been linked to the development of IBS. E. coli O157:H7 causes bloody diarrhea without fever, and is considered to be moderately invasive since it doesn’t spread throughout the body like other strains. An E. coli infection can cause abdominal cramping, watery diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Treatment for E. coli infections can include antibiotics, but it is important to note that antibiotics do not improve the illness, some researches even think it can increase the risk of developing HUS. Nurses should pay close attention to supportive care, hydration, and nutrition. Patients who do not develop HUS from an E. coli infection typically recover within 2 weeks. Researchers have recently found that E. coli infections initially speed up blood coagulation, which may be used to patients advantage or disadvantage in the future. There are many ways you can prevent an E. coli infection. Some major tips include: proper personal hygiene, clean all fruits and vegetables, do not allow children to share bath water, wear gloves when dealing with any child’s diapers with diarrhea and cook hamburger meat

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