Escherichia coli antibodies
Escherichia coli antibodies are specific for Escherichia coli species, which are gram-negative, rod-shaped, facultative anaerobic bacterium. Most strains of E.coli are harmless, but some are pathogenic to humans. Pathogenic strains of E.coli acquire virulence factors through varies means including plasmids and bacteriophages. Some pathogenic strains of E.coli produce Shiga toxins, which are potent bacteriophage encoded cytotoxins. Shiga toxin producing E.coli (STEC), including E.coli O157:H7, are a common cause of severe food poisoning in humans worldwide.
Cattle and ruminants are the natural reservoir for E.coli O157:H7. Outside the natural host, E.coli O157:H7 can survive in diverse environments including water, soil and food. In particular, E.coli O157:H7 can survive in meat that has been contaminated with faecal matter, and undercooked beef has been identified as a major source E.coli O157 infection.
Lim JY, Yoon J, Hovde CJ. 2010.A brief overview of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and its plasmid O157. J Microbiol Biotechnol. Jan;20(1):5-14
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