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PHIL Image 10068
 
ID#:10068
Description:Under a magnification of 6836x, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted a number of Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria of the strain O157:H7, which is one of hundreds of strains of this bacterium. Although most strains are harmless, and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin, which can cause severe illness.

E. coli O157:H7 was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, most infections have come from eating undercooked ground beef.

The combination of letters and numbers in the name of the bacterium refers to the specific markers found on its surface, which distinguishes it from other types of E. coli. See PHIL 8800 for a black and white version of this image.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection, and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk, and after swimming in, or drinking sewage-contaminated water.

Consumers can prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully. Because the organism lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated.

High Resolution:Right click here and select "Save Target As..." for hi-resolution image (16.42 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ National Escherichia, Shigella, Vibrio Reference Unit at CDC
Creation Date:2006
Photo Credit:Janice Haney Carr
Links:
  • CDC - National Center for Infectious Diseases; Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases; Escherichia coli O157:H7
    Categories:
    CDC Organization

    MeSH
    tree picture Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment
    tree picture tree picture Investigative Techniques
    tree picturetree picture tree picture Microscopy
    tree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Microscopy, Electron
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
    tree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Photomicrography
    tree picture Diseases
    tree picture tree picture Bacterial Infections and Mycoses
    tree picturetree picture tree picture Bacterial Infections
    tree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Enterobacteriaceae Infections
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia coli Infections
    tree picture Organisms
    tree picture tree picture Bacteria
    tree picturetree picture tree picture Gram-Negative Bacteria
    tree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Gram-Negative Facultatively Anaerobic Rods
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Enterobacteriaceae
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia coli
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia coli O157
    tree picturetree picture tree picture Proteobacteria
    tree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Gammaproteobacteria
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Enterobacteriaceae
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia coli
    tree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picturetree picture tree picture Escherichia coli O157
    Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.
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