Feeds

Why don't we suffer from E. coli all the time?

Beneficial bacteria?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Also in this week's column:

Why don't we suffer from E. coli all the time? How soon does E.coli colonise in the intestines of a newborn baby, and how does it get into the intestines?

Asked by Neil Greenwood of Cardiff, Wales

All bacteria in the gut comes from the environment and is ingested during feeding. While the mother's milk should be sterile, other environmental factors allow bacteria to enter. Bacteria colonises the mouth first. It is swallowed in large numbers along with the milk.

E. coli (Escherichai coli) is one of a diverse group of microorganisms called coliforms. Coliforms are classified mostly by the tests for their isolation rather than for any physical characteristics. They are found in the lower gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. Coliforms are unlikely to grow in water, but they grow nicely in food especially if the food is kept at conditions that may enhance growth. Room temperature on a warm day is certainly enough!

E. coli ferments and lives on the lactose of milk. Fermentation is an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown or transformation of an energy-rich organic compound. Carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol to an organic acid are examples of fermentation.

E. coli colonises almost immediately. Most forms of E. coli are not capable of causing disease (non-pathogentic). They are found in large numbers in the gut.

They can be beneficial to humans in that they keep dangerous bacteria at bay and produce various vitamins that the body absorbs from the colon. However, some strains can cause disease (pathogenic). E. coli 0157 and E. coli 0111 are examples of these. E. coli has been implicated in some severe food poisonings in every corner of the world.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.