Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A bacillus (Escherichia coli) normally found in the human gastrointestinal tract and existing as numerous strains, some of which are responsible for diarrheal diseases. Some strains have been used experimentally as model organisms for the study of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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).
  • noun Entamoeba coli, a species of non-pathogenic amoeba, Entamoeba, that resides in the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, including humans.

Etymologies

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

[New Latin E(scherichia) colī, species name : after Theodor Escherich, (1857–1911), German physician + Latin colī, genitive of colon, colon; see colon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of Escherichia ("genus of bacteria") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of Entamoeba ("genus of types of ameobas") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon")

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