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THE notorious food-poisoning bug Escherichia coli O157 survives for long periods in soil and water by hitching a ride inside another single-celled organism, researchers in Britain have found. John Barker and his colleagues at Aston University in Birmingham have found that E. coli O157 lives and replicates in a protozoan called Acanthamoeba (FEMS Microbiology Letters, vol 173, p 291). The protozoan probably protects its bacterial passengers from dehydration and sunlight. “This preliminary finding could help us explain why E. coli survives so well in the environment,
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