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A rod-shaped bacterium, especially Escherichia coli, that is normally present and nonpathogenic in the intestinal tracts of vertebrates but can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.