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Pathogenic properties of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic commercial rabbits



Pathogenic properties of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic commercial rabbits



Journal of Clinical Microbiology 20(1): 34-39



Thirty-two different strains of Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic commercial rabbits showing intestinal attachment of bacilli were studied. None of the strains produced thermostable or thermolabile enterotoxins, and none was invasive. Strains isolated from suckling rabbits attached in vitro to the brush borders of intestinal villi, whereas strains from weanling rabbits did not. After experimental infection of 5-week-old rabbits, the 26 strains isolated from weaned diarrheic rabbits attached to the epithelium of ileum, cecum, and colon, whereas only slight attachment was found after infection with the six strains isolated from suckling diarrheic rabbits. The former strains induced diarrhea in 87% of the rabbits, whereas the latter induced diarrhea in only 9% of inoculated rabbits. E. coli isolated from healthy rabbits did not cause diarrhea. Strains isolated from diarrheic suckling rabbits all belonged to serotype O109:K-:H2, whereas strains from diarrheic weaned rabbits belonged to at least eight different serogroups. It is suggested that two different mechanisms of E. coli enteropathy might exist in rabbits.

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Accession: 006071149

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PMID: 6378965


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