Magnified 1250X, this fluorescent antibody stained photomicrograph revealed the presence of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, which were found in a fecal smear from an infant with diarrhea. E. coli is a member of the family of bacterial organisms within the family Enteribacteriaceae, and contains the highly pathogenic strain, which has been given the label O157:H7.
There a four E. coli classes that are enterovirulent in nature, causing gastroenteritis in humans. EEC, or enterovirulent E. coli, which includes the enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) O157:H7 strain. Under normal circumstances, E. coli bacteria are found in the human gut, and serve the useful task of keeping other bacterial organisms in check, however, as is well documented, the O157:H7 strain produces a potent toxin, which destroys the intestinal lining, and can lead to death.