What are E. coli Bacteria? - An example of a common one-celled prokaryote cell
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

What are E. coli?

E. coli bacteria
E. Coli bacteria

E. coli are a very common kind of prokaryote cell that lives mainly inside mammals and birds, including inside you. They can only live for a short time on their own, because they have evolved over time to live inside animals. E. coli live in your intestines, where they eat some of your food and break it down into smaller molecules that you can get into your blood. They can eat a lot of different kinds of food.

Babies are born without E. coli inside them, but they usually get some inside them before they are two days old, from the hands of people who hold them. E. coli cells are so simple that they can build all the parts of the cell out of just one kind of sugar molecule (glucose). Some kinds of E. coli bacteria have flagella, so they can swim around inside you, and others don't.

Most kinds of E. coli bacteria don't hurt you, and in fact you need them to help digest your food. These E. coli bacteria also kill off other germs that might hurt you, and some of them produce vitamins you need. You usually have millions of them inside your gut. But a few kinds of E. coli bacteria are poisonous, and occasionally people even die from eating the wrong kind of E. coli. You can avoid most bad E. coli infections by cooking meat well before eating it, and washing your hands with soap often when you are cutting up raw meat and after you go to the bathroom.

More about prokaryote cells

Bibliography and further reading about cells:

Eukaryotes
Cells
Biology
Chemistry
Quatr.us Home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 24 May, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT