from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bacillus (Escherichia coli) normally found in the human gastrointestinal tract and existing as numerous strains, some of which are responsible for diarrheal diseases. Other strains have been used experimentally in molecular biology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Escherichia coli, a group of gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia, that reside in the intestinal tracts of humans and many animals. Many strains of these bacteria are harmful and can cause food poisoning (urinary infections and enteritis).
  • n. Entamoeba coli, a species of non-pathogenic amoeba, Entamoeba, that resides in the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, including humans.


New Latin E(scherichia) colī, species name : after Theodor Escherich (1857-1911), German physician + Latin colī, genitive of colon, colon; see colon2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Abbreviation of Escherichia ("genus of bacteria") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon") (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation of Entamoeba ("genus of types of ameobas") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon") (Wiktionary)


  • Researchers believe the strain behind the outbreak could have formed from a genetic recombination of two different E. coli bacteria, producing an unusually virulent bug, the World Health Organization said Thursday, citing preliminary genetic-sequencing data.

    Bean Sprouts Are New E. Coli Suspect

  • In some editions Saturday, a World News article about an outbreak in Europe incorrectly called E. coli a virus in one reference.

    Corrections & Amplifications

  • Beansprouts grown in Germany are the likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people and sickened over 2,200 others in Europe, German agricultural authorities said.

    What's News—

  • Like those of P. falciparum, H. sapiens, and HIV, the entire genome of E. coli has been sequenced.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • Of the more than 1,500 Germans infected with E. coli, 627 have developed a severe complication that wreaks havoc with the nervous system and shuts down the kidneys, an unusually high percentage for E. coli outbreaks, Mr. Burger said.

    Bean Sprouts Are New E. Coli Suspect

  • In addition, one of the bean-sprout firm's employees had become ill with an E. coli infection, and the warm, damp conditions for growing bean sprouts are perfect for bacteria, officials said.

    Bean Sprouts Are New E. Coli Suspect

  • In the early 1990s Lenski and coworkers began to grow E. coli in flasks; the flasks reached their capacity of bacteria after about six or seven doublings.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • More Hamburg Restaurants Just Say No to Vegetables German authorities have yet to complete testing to determine whether the E. coli strain traced to a northern German bean-sprout farm is a match to the deadly cases that have affected people from 12 countries.

    Bean Sprouts Are New E. Coli Suspect


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