Escherichia coli: benefit or harm
E. coli (Escherichia coli) is an enterobacterium of the genus Escherichia living in the human body. It is widely believed that E. coli is very dangerous and causes severe intestinal diseases. This is true, but only in part. In fact, there are many strains of Escherichia coli, some of them really lead to serious diseases, and not just the intestines. But part of the strains, on the contrary, is necessary for the body and is part of the normal intestinal microflora. They participate in the synthesis of vitamins K and group B, fight pathogenic microorganisms. And the Mutaflor strain is given as a probiotic to newborns to increase their immunity, and they treat them with diarrhea in young children.
But there are aggressive strains of Escherichia, and it is they that cause infectious diseases – Escherichiosis.
How is the disease manifested?
The latent period of intestinal infection lasts 2-3 days. Then there is severe diarrhea and vomiting of green color, nausea, pulling pains in the abdomen. The patient feels weak, loses his appetite.
There are four varieties of pathogenic bacteria that produce their enterotoxins, each species giving a different picture of the disease.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli most often affects children up to a year. The disease is easy, but long-lasting. Manifested by diarrhea and vomiting. The kid refuses food, often spits up, worries, sleeps poorly.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli causes severe watery diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain.
When infected with enteroinvasive Escherichia coli, a disease similar to dysentery develops and proceeds with signs of severe intoxication. It is characterized by severe watery diarrhea, sometimes with an admixture of blood, spastic pains in the lower left abdomen.
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli is the most severe intestinal infection. A pathogenic bacterium secretes a toxin that damages the intestinal vessels. There is severe intoxication, diarrhea with blood. Damage and necrosis of the intestinal wall, peritonitis are possible. Pathogenic Escherichia coli from the intestine can penetrate the kidneys and urinary tract, affecting them and leading to inflammation, which is manifested by severe pain and burning, frequent urination.
In people with reduced immunity, women after childbirth, small children, people of advanced age, E. coli can lead to the development of hemolytic-uremic syndrome. It is characterized by symptoms of intoxication, diarrhea with blood, the occurrence of hemorrhages, renal failure with the cessation of urination, jaundice, sometimes – cerebral edema. This is a very dangerous condition, which leads to the development of chronic renal failure and even to the death of the patient.
If hygiene is not observed, bacteria can enter the genitals, resulting in women developing inflammation of the uterus, ovaries of the vagina, in men – prostatitis and inflammation of the testicles and their appendages.
If E. coli enters the body of a newborn, it can cause meningitis, which is manifested by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, drowsiness. At risk are boys born with low weight.
Causes of Escherichia coli infection
The main cause of infection with Escherichia coli is non-compliance with hygiene rules. Bacteria can be transmitted through dirty hands, poorly washed vegetables and fruits, insufficiently cooked meat, and poor-quality water. Bacteria penetrate the genitals if their hygiene rules are not followed, and dirty or tight underwear is worn.
Treatment for E. coli infections
Before treatment, bacteriological studies of feces, vomiting are performed to confirm the presence of E. coli. The treatment plan is compiled individually, based on the results of the analyzes. Antibiotics and antimicrobials are used to kill pathogenic bacteria. Since dehydration occurs with severe diarrhea, funds are prescribed to replenish fluid in the body. Also, drugs are used to relieve acute symptoms of infection.
Bacteriophages and probiotics are prescribed for children and pregnant women. If the effect is absent, resort to antibacterial drugs.