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E. coli

() Abbreviation for Escherichia coli
() Abbreviation for Entamoeba coli
Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped species belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Escherichia coli is part of the normal flora in the lower intestine of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Most of them are nonpathogenic. The normal gut flora E. coli is beneficial to the host, particularly in the production of vitamin K. There are strains though that are pathogenic or opportunists. Virulent strains of E. coli have been associated with gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis. E. coli #0157:H7 strain, for instance, can produce Shiga toxin that is capable of causing premature destruction of erythrocytes. The destroyed erythrocytes may clog the kidneys and cause hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which in turn is risky since it can lead to stroke and other complications in the lungs and heart.
Entamoeba coli is a non-pathogenic species of the genus Entamoeba. It resides in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other mammals (e.g. primates and dogs). Since it has the same abbreviation with Escherichia coli, Entamoeba coli should not be confused with the former. Escherichia coli is a prokaryote whereas Entamoeba coli is eukaryote.
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