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Escherichia coli, Molecular Detection

Molecular screening for the detection of Escherichia coli is used for laboratory documentation of infections involving this particular germ.

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Coliforms (Escherichia coli, E. coli) are one of the many species of microorganisms that live in the human gastrointestinal system, known as the normal intestinal flora (intestinal microbiome). It is a Gram negative, rod-forming bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. When in the large intestine, it helps with the processing of non-digestible ingredients, the production of vitamin K and the absorption of nutrients. It was discovered in 1885 by a German pediatrician and bacteriologist, Theodor Escherich. The numbers accompanying Escherichia coli are enormous: the number of individual Colobacteria excreted by humans in a single day ranges between 100 billion and 10 trillion.

Escherichia coli cannot form spores. Thus, actions that kill all active bacteria, such as pasteurization or even simple boiling, are effective in eliminating them without requiring a more stringent process to inactivate the spores.

As a result of their adaptation to the mammalian gut, Escherichia coli grow better in vivo or at higher temperatures, characteristic of such an environment, rather than at lower temperatures such as those found in soil and other environments.

Enteric coliforms are divided on the basis of certain infectious properties into:

  • Enterotoxic strains (ETEC - causative agent of diarrhea in humans, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, dogs and horses)
  • Enteropathogenic strains (EPEC - causative agent of diarrhea in humans, rabbits, dogs, cats and horses)
  • Enteropathogenic strains (EIEC - human-only)
  • Berthogenic strains (VTEC - found in pigs, cattle, dogs and cats)
  • Enterohemorrhagic strains (EHEC - found in humans, cattle, goats and pigs)
  • Some other E. coli strains such as e.g. EAggEC - found only in humans

 

 

 

Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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