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What are examples of facultative bacteria?

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Quick Answer

Examples of facultative anaerobic bacteria include salmonella and E. coli. Facultative anaerobic bacteria are members of the taxonomic families Enterobacteriaceae, Vibrionaceae and Pasteurellaceae. Many of the species in these families are pathogens in humans, other animals or plants.

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Facultative anaerobic bacteria are capable of both aerobic respiration and either fermentation or anaerobic respiration. Many organisms besides bacteria are facultative anaerobes and include some fungi and polychaete worms. Faculative anaerobic bacteria are ubiquitous and common in soil, water and in organisms. Not all species cause disease but are part of animals' normal intestinal flora. Some species, such as E. coli, are often harmless.

Enterobacteriaceae is the family containing the common food-borne bacteria salmonella and E. coli, along with many other groups of dangerous pathogens. Vibrionaceae species include vibrio cholera, a deadly disease spread through sewage and contaminated food. This species causes large amounts of water to be released into the intestines, leading to rapid dehydration. Vibrionaceae also includes photobacterium, a group that produces light and can be found in the light-producing organs of some deep-sea fish. Pasteurellaceae includes pastuerella species, which are common pathogens of domestic animals, as well as haemophilus, which are common in the upper respiratory tract and require a component of hemoglobin to survive.

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