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A species of bacterium with many sub-species, some of which are pathogenic. Some, such as Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, produce toxins which can cause serious disease; others are less virulent. Ordinary harmless commensal E. Coli makes up a large proportion of the faeces, and makes vitamin K.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli are the major cause of traveller's diarrhoea.
A transdermal vaccine containing heat-labile enterotoxin to protect against the major form of traveller's diarrhoea is in development.