At a very high magnification of 22,409X, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed some of the morphologic details displayed by a single Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacterium. This bacterium was a member of the strain, 0:169 H41 ETEC (Enterotoxigenic E. coli).
Enterotoxigenic E. coli, a common cause of bacterial diarrhea
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, or ETEC, is an important cause of bacterial diarrheal illness. Infection with ETEC is the leading cause of travelers' diarrhea and a major cause of diarrheal disease in underdeveloped nations, especially among children. ETEC is transmitted by food or water contaminated with animal or human feces. Although ETEC causes a significant amount of illness worldwide, the infection will end on its own and is rarely life-threatening.