Escherichia coli Infection
(E. coli Infection, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shiga Toxin)
by Krisha McCoy, MS
Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection is caused by a bacterium. It is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea.
This infection is caused by some types of the E. coli bacteria. Most E. coli infections are caused by:
This condition is more common in children and older adults.
Other factors that increase your chances of an E. coli infection:
Symptoms of E. coli infection include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your waste material may be tested. This can be done with a stool culture.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:
Fluid Replacement and Monitoring
Most people will get better in 5-10 days. They rarely need a specific treatment. Avoid medication that stops diarrhea. Drink plenty of water and fluids. Fluids through an IV line may be needed in cases of severe dehydration.
Treatment for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
To help reduce your chances of an E. coli infection:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Public Health Agency of Canada
E. coli infection. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/e-coli-infection. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 8, 2017.
E. coli (Escherichia coli). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli. Updated November 20, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2017.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated May 17, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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