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Characterization and virulence clustering analysis of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from swine in China

Zhu, Yinchu, Dong, Wenyang, Ma, Jiale, Yuan, Lvfeng, Hejair, Hassan M.A., Pan, Zihao, Liu, Guangjin, Yao, Huochun
BMC veterinary research 2017 v.13 no.1 pp. 94
Escherichia coli, cluster analysis, genes, genetic relationships, genetic variation, genotype, mice, models, multilocus sequence typing, pathogenesis, pathogens, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, pork industry, risk, swine, virulence, China
BACKGROUND: Swine extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is an important pathogen that leads to economic and welfare costs in the swine industry worldwide, and is occurring with increasing frequency in China. By far, various virulence factors have been recognized in ExPEC. Here, we investigated the virulence genotypes and clonal structure of collected strains to improve the knowledge of phylogenetic traits of porcine ExPECs in China. RESULTS: We isolated 64 Chinese porcine ExPEC strains from 2013 to 14 in China. By multiplex PCR, the distribution of isolates belonging to phylogenetic groups B1, B2, A and D was 9.4%, 10.9%, 57.8% and 21.9%, respectively. Nineteen virulence-related genes were detected by PCR assay; ompA, fimH, vat, traT and iutA were highly prevalent. Virulence-related genes were remarkably more prevalent in group B2 than in groups A, B1 and D; notably, usp, cnf1, hlyD, papA and ibeA were only found in group B2 strains. Genotyping analysis was performed and four clusters of strains (named I to IV) were identified. Cluster IV contained all isolates from group B2 and Cluster IV isolates had the strongest pathogenicity in a mouse infection model. As phylogenetic group B2 and D ExPEC isolates are generally considered virulent, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis was performed for these isolates to further investigate genetic relationships. Two novel sequence types, ST5170 and ST5171, were discovered. Among the nine clonal complexes identified among our group B2 and D isolates, CC12 and CC95 have been indicated to have high zoonotic pathogenicity. The distinction between group B2 and non-B2 isolates in virulence and genotype accorded with MLST analysis. CONCLUSION: This study reveals significant genetic diversity among ExPEC isolates and helps us to better understand their pathogenesis. Importantly, our data suggest group B2 (Cluster IV) strains have the highest risk of causing animal disease and illustrate the correlation between genotype and virulence.