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E coli at 10000x, original.jpg
SEM micrograph of cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria. Each individual bacterium is oblong.
Scientific classification e
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Enterobacterales
Family: Enterobacteriaceae
Genus: Escherichia
Castellani & Chalmers 1919[1]
Type species
Escherichia coli
(Escherich, 1886)

E. albertii
E. coli
E. fergusonii
E. hermannii
E. marmotae[2]
E. vulneris

Escherichia (/ˌɛʃəˈrɪkiə/) is a genus of Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae.[3] In those species which are inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, Escherichia species provide a portion of the microbially derived vitamin K for their host. A number of the species of Escherichia are pathogenic.[4] The genus is named after Theodor Escherich, the discoverer of Escherichia coli. Escherichia are facultative aerobes, with both aerobic and anaerobic growth, and an optimum temperature of 37 °C.[3] Escherichia are usually motile by flagella, produce gas from fermentable carbohydrates, and do not decarboxylate lysine or hydrolyze arginine.[5] Species include E. albertii, E. fergusonii, E. hermannii, E. marmotae and most notably, the model organism and clinically relevant E. coli. Shimwellia blattae was formerly classified in this genus.[6]


While many Escherichia are commensal members of the gut microbiota, certain strains of some species, most notably the serotypes of E. coli, are human pathogens,[7] and are the most common cause of urinary tract infections,[8] significant sources of gastrointestinal disease, ranging from simple diarrhea to dysentery-like conditions,[3] as well as a wide range of other pathogenic states[9] classifiable in general as colonic escherichiosis. While E. coli is responsible for the vast majority of Escherichia-related pathogenesis, other members of the genus have also been implicated in human disease.[10][11] Escherichia are associated with the imbalance of microbiota of the lower reproductive tract of women. These species are associated with inflammation.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Castellani, Aldo; Chalmers, Albert J. (1919). "Genus Escherichia Castellani and Chalmers, 1918". Manual of Tropical Medicine. New York: William Wood and Company. pp. 941–943.
  2. ^ Parte, A.C. "Escherichia". LPSN.
  3. ^ a b c Madigan M; Martinko J, eds. (2005). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-144329-1.
  4. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Bacteria. Encyclopedia of Earth. eds. Sidney Draggan and C.J.Cleveland, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Leung, J. M.; Gallant, C. V. (2014-01-01), "Infections due to Escherichia and Shigella☆", Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-12-801238-3, retrieved 2020-08-21
  6. ^ Priest, F. G.; Barker, M. (6 August 2009). "Gram-negative bacteria associated with brewery yeasts: reclassification of Obesumbacterium proteus biogroup 2 as Shimwellia pseudoproteus gen. nov., sp. nov., and transfer of Escherichia blattae to Shimwellia blattae comb. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 60 (4): 828–833. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.013458-0. PMID 19661513.
  7. ^ Guentzel MN (1996). Baron S; et al. (eds.). Escherichia, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Serratia, Citrobacter, and Proteus. In: Baron's Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. (via NCBI Bookshelf).
  8. ^ Ronald A (2003). "The etiology of urinary tract infection: traditional and emerging pathogens". Disease-a-Month. 49 (2): 71–82. doi:10.1067/mda.2003.8. PMID 12601338.
  9. ^ "The Species of Escherichia other than E. coli". The Prokaryotes. Retrieved 2006-05-05.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Pien FD, Shrum S, Swenson JM, Hill BC, Thornsberry C, Farmer JJ 3rd (1985). "Colonization of human wounds by Escherichia vulneris and Escherichia hermannii". J Clin Microbiol. 22 (2): 283–5. doi:10.1128/JCM.22.2.283-285.1985. PMC 268376. PMID 3897270.
  11. ^ Chaudhury A, Nath G, Tikoo A, Sanyal SC (1999). "Enteropathogenicity and antimicrobial susceptibility of new Escherichia spp". J Diarrhoeal Dis Res. 17 (2): 85–7. PMID 10897892.
  12. ^ Bennett, John (2015). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's principles and practice of infectious diseases. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders. ISBN 9781455748013; Access provided by the University of Pittsburgh{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)

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