Adsorption effect of activated charcoal on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

J Vet Med Sci. 2001 Mar;63(3):281-5. doi: 10.1292/jvms.63.281.


The adsorption property of activated charcoal on verotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) was examined using E. coli O157:H7. In the present study, E. coli O157:H7 strains were effectively adsorbed by activated charcoal. Adsorption was dose-dependent, and the maximum adsorption occurred within 5 min. At 10 mg of activated charcoal, bacteria tested were completely adsorbed. Activated charcoal also had the capacity to adsorb toxin (verotoxin 2) activity from the bacterial extract. Furthermore, the adsorption efficiency of activated charcoal for the normal bacterial flora in the intestine was assessed using Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Activated charcoal showed lower binding capacity to the normal bacterial flora tested than that to E. coli O157:H7 strains. These results suggest that activated charcoal could be a good adsorbent system for the removal of VTEC and verotoxin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium / physiology
  • Charcoal / pharmacology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Enterococcus faecium / physiology
  • Escherichia coli O157 / metabolism*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / physiology
  • Shiga Toxin 2 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Vero Cells


  • Shiga Toxin 2
  • Charcoal