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Serobiotypes and virulence genes of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy rabbits in Brazil



Serobiotypes and virulence genes of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy rabbits in Brazil



Veterinary microbiology 89(1): 41-51



A total of 178 Escherichia coli isolates from diarrheic and healthy rabbits in the São Paulo State (Brazil) were serobiotyped and investigated by PCR for the presence of virulence genes. Among the 90 (50.6%) isolates which possessed the eae gene, 74 were from diarrheic animals and all but one encoded intimin beta. Sixty five (72.2%) of the eae+ isolates had insertion of the locus of enterocyte effacement locus in the pheU locus, 11 (12.2%) in the selC and 14 (15.6%) did not insert in either of these loci. All isolates were negative for genes of the E. coli enterotoxins, Stx1, Stx2, CNF1, CNF2 and EHEC hemolysin. The O132:H2 serotype was dominant, being present in 63 isolates (70%) of the 90 eae+ isolates, and 57 of the 63 isolates of this serotype belonged to biotype 30. PCR detected the gene for AF/R2 fimbriae in 75 (83.3%) of the 90 eae+ isolates. Adherence to HeLa cells was best detected following 6h incubation and a positive fluorescence actin staining (FAS) test was given by 52 isolates. These data show that isolates of E. coli associated with diarrhea in rabbits in Brazil possess the genotype and phenotype typically associated with rabbit enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). We conclude that EPEC that possess the eae gene are a common cause of diarrhea in Brazilian rabbit farms and that the pathogenic eae+ AF/R2+ isolates of O132:H2:B30 serobiotype are especially predominant.

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Accession: 003931196

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PMID: 12223161

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-1135(02)00148-7


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