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E. coli (Escherichia coli)

  Group of bacteria including both harmlesscommensals in the human gut and strains that cause foodpoisoning by production of enterotoxins (TX 3.1.2.x, 3.1.3.x,3.1.4.x, depending on the strain) after adhering to intestinalepithelial cells. For most pathogenic strains the infective dose is105107 organisms, onset 1648 h, and duration 13 days.Strain O157:H7 (or VTEC) was first identified as a cause offood poisoning in the 1980s. It produces a toxin called verocytotoxinand is especially virulent; infective dose 10 organisms, onset17 h and duration (if not fatal) of days or weeks.