β-Haemolytic E.coli

  • Both pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of E.coli are found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. β-Haemolytic E.coli are pathogenic, therefore NOT normal flora.
  • β-Haemolytic E.coli produces a toxin which results in a complete lysis of red cells.
  • On blood media, the area around and under the colonies appear lightened and transparent.
  • The bacteria are transmitted via the faecal-oral route of infection and can also be found in the environment in which animal inhabit.
  • Symptoms can include: Haemorrhagic diarrhoea, anaemia, dehydration and abdominal pain.
  • The best method of prevention is good hygiene practice, cleaning soiled litter and wearing gloves to prevent cross contamination between hosts.

On Sheep Blood Agar, the destruction of the red blood cells can be observed around the colonies, where they appear transparent.

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