Optimum growth of E. coli occurs at 37 °C (98. 6 °F), but some laboratory strains can multiply at temperatures up to 49 °C (120 °F). E. coli grows in a variety of defined laboratory media, such as lysogeny broth, or any medium that contains glucose, ammonium phosphate, monobasic, sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate, potassium phosphate, dibasic, and water. Growth can be driven by aerobic or anaerobic respiration, using a large variety of redox pairs, including the oxidation of pyruvic acid, formic acid, hydrogen, and amino acids, and the reduction of substrates such as oxygen, nitrate, fumarate, dimethyl sulfoxide, and trimethylamine N-oxide. E. coli is classified as a facultative anaerobe. It uses oxygen when it is present and available. It can, however, continue to grow in the absence of oxygen using fermentation or anaerobic respiration. The ability to continue growing in the absence of oxygen is an advantage to bacteria because their survival is increased in environments where water predominates.
E. coli is the name of a type of bacteria that lives in your intestines and in the intestines of animals. Although most types of E. coli are harmless, some types can make you sick.
E. coli and other facultative anaerobes constitute about 0.9% of gut microbiota ,  and fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease. Cells are able to survive outside the body for a limited amount of time, which makes them potential indicator organisms to test environmental samples for fecal contamination .   A growing body of research, though, has examined environmentally persistent E. coli which can survive for extended periods outside a host.