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    Escherichia coli (E. coli) can be both beneficial and harmful. While some strains of E. coli are part of the normal microbiota in the human gut and play important roles in digestion and vitamin synthesis, other strains can cause illness. Pathogenic strains of E. coli, such as those that produce toxins like Shiga toxin, can cause foodborne illnesses ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset to severe complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Therefore, whether E. coli is considered “good” or “bad” depends on the specific strain and its context. In general, proper food hygiene and sanitation practices are essential for minimizing the risk of E. coli-related illnesses.

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