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E. coli Bacteria Develops Resistance after Low Levels of Antibiotics


LA Testing provides environmental and food testing services to help prevent deadly E. coli outbreaks.

Garden Grove, CA

According to a recent article in the Microbial Drug Resistance journal, the treatment of a hospital patient suffering from a drug resistant pathogen costs an additional $6,000 to $50,000 more than a typical infection. These staggering numbers have been brought to light with the recent outbreak of a deadly strain of E. coli that caused dozens of deaths and sickened thousands in Germany and across Europe.

The article discusses how E. coli, exposed to three antibiotics, were likely to develop antibiotic resistance. This, following low level exposure to the antibiotics.

E. coli are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make people sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin known as Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing” E. coli, or STEC for short. The most commonly identified of these in North America is E. coli O157:H7.

People of any age can become infected from E. coli. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.

“Infections typically start when someone consumes contaminated food, unpasteurized milk products or drinks contaminated water,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, a leading environmental testing laboratory. “There are believed to be about 70,000 infections from E. coli O157 each year in the United States alone. This latest news regarding E. coli developing resistance to low level antibiotic exposure makes preventing infections that much more critical,” he continued.

LA Testing and its parent company, EMSL Analytical, have cosponsored an educational video on E. coli. It can be viewed at:

To learn more about E. coli and other pathogens testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 E. coli bacteria
 low level antibiotics
 bacteria resistance
 shiga-toxin producing
 STEC O157:H7

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