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Coli bacteria (not to be confused with coliform bacteria) are colloquially known as intestinal bacteria of the genus Escherichia coli (E. coli), which are often associated with health problems, but are not per se harmful. For example, many coli bacteria perform useful functions as vitamin producers. However, some highly infectious representatives are known to cause severe gastrointestinal disorders. Among them the so-called toxin-forming E-coli bacteria, which can also cause damage to the kidneys up to a potentially fatal kidney failure, as was the case for example with some patients in the course of the so-called EHEC epidemic in 2011. The Kolibaktiere were probably spread via contaminated fenugreek seeds. In general, infection with coli bacteria often occurs through the oral ingestion of the pathogen with food. Contaminated drinking water is also a possible route of infection in many regions of the world - but not in Germany. (fp)
(Image 1: Kateryna_Kon / fotolia.com)