Characterisation of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) associated with colisepticaemia compared to faecal isolates from healthy birds.
ABSTRACT A total of 114 avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) isolates were collected from cases of colisepticaemia occurring in broilers (77) and layers (37) within Ireland. In addition 45 strains isolated from faeces of healthy birds were included for comparison. All isolates were serogrouped, and examined for known virulence factors, mostly by PCR. The O78 serogroup represented 55 and 27% of broiler and layer colisepticaemic isolates respectively. All isolates were positive for curli fimbriae (crl, csg) and negative for afimbrial adhesin (afa). S-fimbrial (sfa) sequences were present in 8.8% of septicaemic isolates and 8.9% of healthy bird isolates. The majority of E. coli from cases of colisepticaemia (97.4%) and healthy bird (95.6%) isolates were positive for aerobactin (aer), and temperature sensitive haemagglutinin (tsh) was similarly detected in high numbers in 93.9 and 93.3%, respectively. In comparison to E. coli isolates from the faeces of healthy birds, a significantly higher percentage of isolates from septicaemic cases possessed Type 1 fimbriae (fimC) and increased serum survival (iss) gene sequences. Forty-seven (41.2%) isolates from septicaemic birds possessed P-fimbriae (pap) gene sequences, compared with only 15.6% from E. coli isolated from healthy birds. Haemolysin (hlyE) sequences were detected in 46.7% of isolates from healthy birds in comparison with 6.1% of septicaemic isolates. Sequences encoding colicin V (cvaC) were detected in 99.1% of septicaemic isolates and 82.2% of isolates from healthy birds. The K1 capsule was only present in two septicaemic isolates, both taken from layers. Motility was detected in 36.8% of E. coli isolated from cases of septicaemia, compared with 93.3% of isolates from healthy birds. These results demonstrate the presence of 11 virulence genes in E. coli isolated from cases of colisepticaemia within Ireland, and indicate the prevalence of iss and fimC.
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ABSTRACT: Colibacillosis in different forms is responsible for significant economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Escherichia coli strains frequently implicated in poultry disease are designated as avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC). Natural infections and disease due to APEC have been described in wild birds, but not as yet in red-legged partridges. During an outbreak in an experimental partridge farm, 23 of 43 1-day-old chicks belonging to the same batch died. Putative APEC strains were detected and isolated both in cloacal swabs and in tissues originating from the same individuals and from different birds showing similar clinical signs. This is the first study that identifies APEC strains linked to a colibacillosis outbreak in farmed red-legged partridges, and also confirms the importance of farmed partridges as fecal carriers and potential spreaders of APEC.Avian Diseases 03/2013; 57(1):143-6. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Colibacillosis is an economically important syndromic disease of poultry caused by extra-intestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) but the pathotype remains poorly defined. Combinations of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) have aided APEC identification. The intestinal microbiota is a potential APEC reservoir. Broiler chickens are selectively bred for fast, uniform growth. Here we simultaneously investigate intestinal E. coli VAG carriage in apparently healthy birds and characterise systemic E. coli from diseased broiler chickens from the same flocks. Four flocks were sampled longitudinally from chick placement until slaughter. Phylogrouping, macro-restriction pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) were performed on an isolate subset from one flock to investigate the population structure of faecal and systemic E. coli. Early in production, VAG carriage among chick intestinal E. coli populations was diverse (average Simpson's D value = 0.73); 24.05% of intestinal E. coli (n = 160) from 1 day old chicks were carrying ≥5 VAGs. Generalised Linear models demonstrated VAG prevalence in potential APEC populations declined with age; 1% of E. coli carrying ≥5 VAGs at slaughter and demonstrated high strain diversity. A variety of VAG profiles and high strain diversity were observed among systemic E. coli. Thirty three new MLST sequence types were identified among 50 isolates and a new sequence type representing 22.2% (ST-2999) of the systemic population was found, differing from the pre-defined pathogenic ST-117 at a single locus. For the first time, this study takes a longitudinal approach to unravelling the APEC paradigm. Our findings, supported by other studies, highlight the difficulty in defining the APEC pathotype. Here we report a high genetic diversity among systemic E. coli between and within diseased broilers, harbouring diverse VAG profiles rather than single and/or highly related pathogenic clones suggesting host susceptibility in broilers plays an important role in APEC pathogenesis.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e67749. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections are very widespread in poultry. However, little is known about the interaction between the intestinal epithelium and E. coli in chickens. Therefore, the effects of avian non-pathogenic and avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) on the intestinal function of broiler chickens were investigated by measuring the electrogenic ion transport across the isolated jejunal mucosa. In addition, the intestinal epithelial responses to cholera toxin, histamine and carbamoylcholine (carbachol) were evaluated following an E. coli exposure. Jejunal tissues from 5-week-old broilers were exposed to 6×108 CFU/mL of either avian non-pathogenic E. coli IMT11322 (Ont:H16) or avian pathogenic E. coli IMT4529 (O24:H4) in Ussing chambers and electrophysiological variables were monitored for 1 h. After incubation with E. coli for 1 h, either cholera toxin (1 mg/L), histamine (100 μM) or carbachol (100 μM) were added to the incubation medium. Both strains of avian E. coli (non-pathogenic and pathogenic) reduced epithelial ion conductance (Gt) and short-circuit current (Isc). The decrease in ion conductance after exposure to avian pathogenic E. coli was, at least, partly reversed by the histamine or carbachol treatment. Serosal histamine application produced no significant changes in the Isc in any tissues. Only the uninfected control tissues responded significantly to carbachol with an increase of Isc, while the response to carbachol was blunted to non-significant values in infected tissues. Together, these data may explain why chickens rarely respond to intestinal infections with overt secretory diarrhea. Instead, the immediate response to intestinal E. coli infections appears to be a tightening of the epithelial barrier.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92156. · 3.73 Impact Factor