Coliform bacteria: What are the signs?

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The coliform bacteria are a member of the enterobacteria family which are responsible for causing digestive conditions. A coliform infection typically arises after ingesting contaminated water or food.

The major coliform bacteria include shigella which causes dysentery, some strains of E. coli and salmonella.

Diarrhea due to coliform bacteria

The usual indication of an infection with coliform bacteria is diarrhea. Shigella can trigger dysentery which is characterized as copious blood-streaked diarrhea. Some strains of E. coli can also cause mild symptoms like food poisoning.

The usual indication of an infection with coliform bacteria is diarrhea.

Both can be acquired after ingesting contaminated water or food or ingesting food that has been washed with contaminated water. Most cases of diarrhea due to E. coli and shigella settle on their own after a brief span of time.


Gastroenteritis causes abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. The condition can be triggered by consuming food or water contaminated by the coliform bacteria particularly strains of salmonella.

Poultry or meat products are the usual cause of salmonella-induced food poisoning but it can also be acquired from contaminated water. Gastroenteritis typically lasts for 2-3 days without requiring antibiotics.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria and characterized by flu-like symptoms such as abdominal tenderness, headache, appetite loss, dry cough and fever.

In most cases, there is an elevated reddened rash on the front of the chest that subside after 3-4 days. If not treated, it is considered deadly. Similar with other ailments caused by coliform bacteria, typhoid fever is acquired after consuming contaminated water or food.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections can be triggered by the pathogenic strains of E. coli and klebsiella which is a similar form of coliform bacteria. Similar with the diarrheal ailments, UTI can be acquired by ingesting contaminated water but more often due to direct contact with the bacteria.

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