Serotypes, virulence genes, and PFGE profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from pigs with postweaning diarrhoea in Slovakia

Hung Vu Khac; Holoda, Emil; Pilipcinec, Emil; Blanco, Miguel; Blanco, Jesús E.; Mora, Azucena; Dahbi, Ghizlane; López, Cecilia; González, Enrique A.; Blanco, Jorge
January 2006
BMC Veterinary Research;2006, Vol. 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Postweaning diarrhoea (PWD) in pigs is usually the main infectious problem of large-scale farms and is responsible for significant losses worldwide. The disease is caused mainly by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC). In this study a total of 101 E. coli isolated from pigs with PWD in Slovakia were characterized using phenotypic and genotypic methods. Results: These 101 isolates belonged to 40 O:H serotypes. However, 57% of the isolates belonged to only six serotypes (O9:H51, O147:H-, O149:H10, O163:H-, ONT:H-, and ONT:H4), including two new serotypes (O163:H- and ONT:H4) not previously found among porcine ETEC and STEC isolated in other countries. Genes for EAST1, STb, STa, LT and Stx2e toxins were identified in 64%, 46%, 26%, 20%, and 5% of isolates, respectively. PCR showed that 35% of isolates carried genes for F18 colonization factor, and further analyzed by restriction endonuclease revealed that all of them were F18ac. Genes for F4 (K88), F6 (P987), F17, F5 (K99), F41, and intimin (eae gene) adhesins were detected in 19 %, 5%, 3%, 0.9%, 0.9%, and 0.9% of the isolates, respectively. The study of genetic diversity, carried out by PFGE of 46 representative ETEC and STEC isolates, revealed 36 distinct restriction profiles clustered in eight groups. Isolates of the same serotype were placed together in the dendrogram, but high degree of polymorphism among certain serotypes was detected. Conclusion: Seropathotype O149:H10 LT/STb/EAST1/F4 (14 isolates) was the most commonly detected followed by O163:H- EAST1/F18 (six isolates), and ONT:H4 STa/STb/Stx2e/F18 (five isolates). Interestingly, this study shows that two new serotypes (O163:H- and ONT:H4) have emerged as pig pathogens in Slovakia. Furthermore, our results show that there is a high genetic variation mainly among ETEC of O149:H10 serotype.


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