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Characterization of pathogenicity determinants in Escherichia coli strains isolated from weaned piglets in Vietnam



Characterization of pathogenicity determinants in Escherichia coli strains isolated from weaned piglets in Vietnam



Revue de Medecine Veterinaire 154(1): 33-40



Two hundred and forty-nine Escherichia coli strains isolated from weaned piglets in Vietnam (38 from mesenteric lymph nodes of piglets with clinical signs of oedema disease (OD), 107 strains from faeces of piglets with post-weaning diarrhoea and 104 from faeces of healthy piglets) from 1999 to 2001 were tested by PCR for the presence of a set of pathogenicity determinants including genes encoding verotoxins (VT1, VT2, VT2e), enterotoxins (ST-I, ST-II and LT-I), adhesins (F4, F5, F6, F41 and F18) and the attaching/effacing strains marker intimin (Eae). Among the ED isolates, 13 strains (34.2 p.100), including twelve O139 and one O141 displayed VT2e and F18 positive genotype and were verocytotoxic in vitro, and 11 strains harboured an enterotoxigenic equipment that included ST-II and/or LT-I and sometimes F4 (6 strains). Typical verotoxigenic ED (VT2e and F18 positive) strains were scarcely isolated from faeces of weaned piglets (5.7 p.100 from diarrhoeic and 1.9 p.100 from healthy ones) and all of these isolates harboured also ST-I, ST-II and LT-I genes, but none belonged to O138, O139 or O141 serogroups. Enterotoxigenic markers, with combinations of ST-I, ST-II and LT-I, were also recovered in 6.5 p.100 and 15.4 p.100 of the strains from diarrhoeic and healthy pigs, respectively, without association to F4 or F18. In these strain collections, the adhesins F5, F6, F41, the intimin Eae and VT1 were not present. Our results suggest that OD in Vietnam is mainly due to O139 strains, but verotoxigenic/enterotoxigenic strains belonging to other serogroups circulating in herds may be a source of mobile genetic elements for typically adapted OD-inducing strains.

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