At a high magnification of 12,960X, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed some of the morphologic details displayed by a number of joined Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria. These bacteria were members of the strain, 0:169 H41 ETEC (Enterotoxigenic E. coli). See PHIL 11379 for a colorized version of this image.
What is ETEC?
Escherichia colii is a bacterium that normally lives in the intestines of humans and other animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless, but some can cause disease. Disease-causing E. coli are grouped according to the different ways by which they cause illness. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, or ETEC, is the name given to a group of E. coli that produce special toxins which stimulate the lining of the intestines causing them to secrete excessive fluid, thus producing diarrhea. The toxins and the diseases that ETEC causes are not related to E. coli O157:H7.