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Epidemiological investigation of eaeA-positive Escherichia coli and Escherichia albertii strains isolated from healthy wild birds

Epidemiological investigation of eaeA-positive Escherichia coli and Escherichia albertii strains isolated from healthy wild birds

Journal of Microbiology 49(5): 747-752

Escherichia coli has commonly been associated with diarrheal illness in humans and animals. Recently, E. albertii has been reported to be a potential pathogen of humans and animals and to be carried by wild birds. In the present study, the prevalence and genetic characteristics of intimin-producing E. coli and E. albertii strains were evaluated in wild birds in Korea. Thirty one of 790 Enterobacteriaceae strains from healthy wild birds were positive for the intimin gene (eaeA) and twenty two of the 31 strains were identified as atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) that did not possess both EAF and bfpA genes. A total of nine lactose non-fermenting coliform bacterial strains were identified as E. albertii by PCR and sequence analysis of housekeeping genes. A total of 28 (90.3%) eaeA-positive strains were isolated from waterfowl. Fifteen aEPEC (68.2%) and two E. albertii (22.2%) strains had a β-intimin subtype and 14 aEPEC strains harboring β-intimin belonged to phylogenetic group B2. AU eaeA-positive E. albertii and 3 aEPEC strains possessed the cytolethal distending toxin gene (cdtB). The eaeA-positive E. coli and E. albertii strains isolated from healthy wild birds need to be recognized as a potential pathogroup that may pose a potential threat to human and animal health. These findings indicate that eaeA-positive E. coli as well as E. albertii can be carried by wild birds, posing a potential threat to human and animal health.

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Accession: 036258447

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PMID: 22068490

DOI: 10.1007/s12275-011-1133-y

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