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Fighting E. Coli with E. Coli

American Society for Microbiology

According to findings published this week in mBio, Nissle, a strain of Escherichia coli, is harmless to intestinal tissue and may protect the gut from enterohemorrhagic E. coli, a pathogen that produces Shiga toxin.

E. coli has gotten a bad rap because a few pathogenic strains can cause severe, even life-threatening, symptoms. But for more than a century, the commensal strain Nissle has been used as a probiotic and, more recently, to treat intestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati wanted to understand whether Nissle could also protect intestinal tissue against EHEC and other ...