Difference between E.coli and Serratia marcescens

E.Coli

It is a rod-shaped, gram-negative coliform bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae and genus Escherichia. It is a facultative anaerobe, which along with other anaerobes, form a part of the gut microbiota. Most strains of Escherichia coliare harmless, while a few can occasionally cause food poisoning. Virulent strains of this bacterium can cause urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, neonatal meningitis, etc. The common symptoms of E.coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, hemorrhagic colitis, etc. 

Serratia marcescens 

It is also a rod-shaped, gram-negative bacterium that belongs to the family Yersiniaceae. It is an opportunistic pathogen and a facultative anaerobe. S.marcescens is commonly involved in nosocomial infections (hospital-acquired infections). It is associated with urinary tract infections, catheter-associated infections, wound infections, etc. It is commonly found in damp environments. The special ability of S.marcescens is to hydrolyse casein. Also, it can exhibit citrate degradation and tyrosine hydrolysis. 

Difference between E.coli and Serratia marcescens 

E.coli

Serratia marcescens

It is a rod-shaped, gram-negative coliform bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae  It is a rod-shaped, gram-negative bacterium that belongs to the family Yersiniaceae
It is found in the human gastrointestinal tract and forms an important part of the gut microbiota.  It is found in damp environments like water bodies and soil. It is commonly seen in bathrooms. 
It can be non-motile or motile.  It is motile. 
It does not produce any pink or red discolouration.  It produces pink or pinkish-orange film on shampoo and soap residues. 
It cannot hydrolyse casein.  It can hydrolyse casein. 
It cannot grow in a citrate medium (citrate negative).  It can utilise a citrate medium (citrate positive). 
It is a part of faecal flora and acts as a bioindicator organism.  It is not a part of faecal flora. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between E.coli and Serratia marcescens

What are Enterobacterales?

It is an order that includes gram-negative bacteria that are facultatively anaerobic, non-spore-forming and rod-shaped. Enterobacteriaceae and Yersiniaceae are two different families under this order. Also, it includes five other families of bacteria.

How does E.coli serve as an indicator organism?

E.Coli is a part of the human gut microbiota. It is expelled into the environment through the faecal route. The presence of E.coli in water or food samples indicates faecal contamination. Thus, it serves as an indicator organism.

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