E. Coli

Unlike many gut microbes, most people know E.coli by name - Kat Eschner

E. Coli

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Why Are Some E. Coli Strains Deadly While Others Live Peacefully in Our Bodies?

Obviously some E. coli can be deadly for people. But not all strains of these bacteria make you sick. In fact, you have a variety of strains of E. coli in your intestines right now – including one that’s busy making the antioxidant vitamin K, crucial for your and its survival.

Scientists like me often characterize E. coli by the sugar coat they display on their cell surface. A molecule called a lipopolysaccharide is the anchor that displays a collection of sugars to their environment.

These sugars help the bacteria stick to surfaces and reveal their identity to your immune system. Human cells do this, too – your blood type is defined by sugars displayed on your blood cells,…

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Last Updated : Thursday, August 18, 2022