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Virulence profiles of enterotoxigenic, shiga toxin and enteroaggregative Escherichia coli in South African pigs

Mohlatlole, Ramadimetja Prescilla, Madoroba, Evelyn, Muchadeyi, Farai Catherine, Chimonyo, Michael, Kanengoni, Arnold Tapera, Dzomba, Edgar Farai
Tropical animal health and production 2013 v.45 no.6 pp. 1399-1405
Duroc, Large White, Shiga toxin, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, adhesins, diarrhea, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, fimbriae, genes, heat stability, landraces, pathotypes, piglets, polymerase chain reaction, virulence
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and shiga toxin E. coli (STEC) are important causes of colibacillosis in piglets. Recently, enteroaggregative E. coli heat-stable enterotoxin 1 (EAST-1) has been implicated in pig diarrhoea. This study investigated the prevalence of enterotoxin [heat-labile toxins (LT), heat-stable toxin a (STa), heat-stable toxin b (STb)], shiga toxins (Stx1, Stx2, Stx2e), enteroaggregative heat-stable E. coli (EAST-1), associated fimbriae (F4, F5, F6, F41, F18ab, F18ac) and non-fimbrial adhesins [adhesin involved in diffuse adherence 1 (AIDA-1), attaching and effacing factor, porcine attaching- and effacing-associated factor] in South African pigs. A total of 263 E. coli strains were isolated from Landrace (n = 24), Large White (n = 126), Duroc (n = 28) and indigenous (n = 85) breeds of piglets aged between 9 and 136 days. PCR was used in the analysis. Virulent genes were detected in 40.3 % of the isolates, of which 18.6, 0.4 and 17.5 % were classified as ETEC, STEC and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), respectively. Individual genes were found in the following proportions: STb (19.01 %), LT (0.4 %), STa (3.4 %), St2xe (1.1 %) and EAST-1 (20.2 %) toxins. None of the tested fimbriae were detected in ETEC and STEC isolates. About one third of the ETEC and STEC isolates was tested negative for both fimbrial and non-fimbrial adhesins. Twenty-five pathotypes from ETEC-, EAEC- and STEC-positive strains were identified. Pathotypes EAST-1 (30.2 %), STb (13.2 %) and STb/AIDA-1 (10.4 %) were most prevalent. The study provided insight on possible causes of colibacillosis in South African pigs.