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Development of a pig infection model with colistin-resistant Escherichia coli

Le Devendec, Laetitia, Jouy, Eric, Paboeuf, Frederic, de Boisséson, Claire, Lucas, Pierrick, Drider, Djamel, Kempf, Isabelle
Veterinary microbiology 2018 v.226 pp. 81-88
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, biosecurity, blood sampling, control methods, diarrhea, digestive tract, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, excretion, feces, gene transfer, genotype, intestines, models, piglets, receptors, selective media, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), swine diseases
Colistin-resistant Escherichia coli are isolated from pigs suffering from post-weaning diarrhea (PWD). This study was designed to develop an experimental model of PWD using mcr-1-carrying shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) or enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), for the future evaluation of control measures. Three groups of eight piglets, kept in high biosecurity units, were orally inoculated with mcr-1-positive STEC or ETEC, and one unchallenged group was used as a control. Clinical signs were recorded. Regularly-collected fecal samples and samples obtained from the digestive tract of animals sacrificed one month after inoculation were cultured in selective media and isolates were characterized. Blood samples were used to genotype the polymorphisms of the pigs’ intestinal receptors for F4 and F18 E. coli adhesins.Diarrhea was more frequent and more fecal samples contained the inoculated strain in the group inoculated with the O149-F4 ETEC strain than with the O141-F18 or O139-F18 STEC strains. However, fewer positive samples were obtained from the two pigs with the F4 resistant genotype. The three inoculated strains could be re-isolated up to the end of the experiment. Excretion peaked on the first week after inoculation with the O149-F4 ETEC strain, and later for the other two. An mcr-1 gene transfer to other commensal isolates was observed only for O139-F18 STEC, while the loss of mcr-1 from the inoculated strain occurred in all groups. The O149-F4 ETEC challenge may be used to evaluate alternative solutions to combat PWD caused by colistin-resistant E. coli in pigs.