The key difference between E coli and Serratia marcescens is that E. coli is a coliform bacterium that belongs to genus Escherichia and is a part of normal gut flora while Serratia marcescens is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria which has the ability to produce red colour pigment at the room temperature.
E.coli and S. marcescens are two types of gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria that belong to family Enterobacteriaceae. However, E. coli belongs to genus Escherichia while S. marcescens belongs to genus Serratia. Both E. coli and S. marcescens are opportunistic pathogens that cause infections in humans. Unlike E. coli, S. marcescens is not a common component of the human fecal flora.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is E. Coli
3. What is Serratia Marcescens
4. Similarities Between E Coli and Serratia Marcescens
5. Side by Side Comparison – E Coli vs Serratia Marcescens in Tabular Form
What is E. coli?
E. coli is a gram-negative, rod-shaped, facultative anaerobic bacterium that belongs to family Enterobacteriaceae. It is a faecal coliform bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Many of the E. coli strains are harmless, and they are a part of the normal gut microbiota that keeps our gut healthy. But, some serotypes cause serious food poisoning, severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhoea, kidney failure and vomiting. Especially, the strain E. coli O157:H7 produces a powerful toxin known as Shiga, which is responsible for severe food poisoning. E. coli enters the body through the faecal-oral route. Water, raw vegetables, unpasteurized milk and uncooked meat, are several common sources of E. coli. Hence, E. coli infections can be minimized by proper food preparation and good hygiene.
E. coli is one of the key prokaryotic model organisms used in the fields of biotechnology and microbiology. Hence, E. coli serves as the host organism in many recombinant DNA experiments. The reasons behind using E. coli as the primary model organism are some characteristics of E. coli, including fast growth, availability of cheap culture media to grow, easiness to manipulate, and extensive knowledge of its genetics and genomics.
What is Serratia Marcescens?
Serratia marcescens is a gram-negative rod-shaped facultative anaerobic bacterial species of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Out of different Serratia species, S. marcescens is the most commonly isolated species from human infections. In other words, S. marcescens is the most common clinical isolate and the most important human pathogen. However, it often works as an opportunistic pathogen. It causes nosocomial infections in humans. This bacterium causes urinary tract and ocular lens infections commonly. Moreover, it is responsible for endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septicemia, wound and respiratory tract infections. S. marcescens is resistant to several antibiotics.
One of its unique features is that it is able to produce a red colour pigment at room temperature. S. marcescens is found mainly in soil and water. In fact, S. marcescens is widespread in the environment. But it is not a common component of the human faecal flora.
What are the Similarities Between E Coli and Serratia Marcescens?
- E.coli and S. marcescens are gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria.
- Both are facultative anaerobic organisms.
- They belong to bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae.
- They are opportunistic pathogens.
- Both produce an enzyme called aspartate transcarbamoylases.
- marcescens is motile while some E. coli strains are motile.
What is the Difference Between E Coli and Serratia Marcescens?
E.coli is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium that normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals while S. marcescens is an opportunistic, gram-negative, rod-shaped nosocomial pathogen which belongs to family Enterobacteriaceae. So, this is the key difference between E coli and Serratia marcescens. Besides, S. marcescens is able to produce red colour pigment at room temperature while E. coli cannot.
Below infographic shows more details of the difference between E coli and Serratia marcescens.
Summary – E Coli vs Serratia Marcescens
E. coli is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium which is a coliform bacterium. It normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. S. marcescens is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterial species that occurs naturally in soil and water. It produces a red pigment at room temperature. Thus, this summarizes the difference between E Coli and serratia marcescens.
1. “E. Coli Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Risks & More”. Healthline, 2020, Available here.
2. “Serratia Marcescens – Infectious Disease And Antimicrobial Agents”. Antimicrobe.Org, 2020, Available here.