To investigate the prevalence of Escherichia coli contamination and E coli virulence gene signatures consistent with known E coli pathotypes in commercially available conventional diets and raw-meat–based diets (RMBDs).
40 diets in total (19 conventionally cooked kibble or canned diets and 21 RMBDs) obtained from retail stores or online distributors.
Each diet was cultured for E coli contamination in 3 separate container locations using standard microbiological techniques. Further characterization of E coli isolates was performed by polymerase chain reaction-based pathotype and virulence gene analysis.
Conventional diets were negative in all culture based testing. In RMBDs, bacterial contamination was similar to previous reports in the veterinary literature, with 66% (14/21) of the RMBDs having positive cultures for E coli. Among the 191 confirmed E coli isolates from these diets, 31.9% (61/191) were positive for virulence genes. Categorized by pathotype, isolates presumptively belonging to the neonatal meningitis E coli pathotype (15.7% [30/191]) were the most common, followed by enterohemorrhagic E coli (10.5% [20/191]), enteropathogenic E coli (5.8% [11/191]), uropathogenic E coli (2.1% [4/191]), and diffusely adherent E coli (1.6% [3/191]).
The results of this study reaffirmed the bacteriologic risks previously associated with RMBDs. Furthermore, potential zoonotic concerns associated with identified pathotypes in these diets may have significant consequences for owners in the animals’ home environment. Potential risk associated with bacterial contamination should be addressed in animals fed RMBDs.
To characterize uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in cases of clinical feline urinary tract infection (UTI) and subclinical bacteriuria and investigate the in vitro effects of E coli strain Nissle 1917 on isolate growth.
40 cats with positive E coli culture results for urine collected during routine evaluation.
Characterization of UPEC isolates was performed by PCR-based phylotype analysis and serotyping. Nissle 1917 effects on growth inhibition and competitive overgrowth against UPEC isolates were evaluated in vitro using a plate-based competition assay.
Feline phylogroups were similar to previous human and feline UPEC studies, with most of the isolates belonging to phylogroup A (42.5%), B2 (37.5%), and D (15.0%). Fifty-two percent of isolates were found to be resistant to antimicrobials, with 19% of these being multidrug resistant (MDR). Nissle 1917 adversely affected the growth of 82.5% of all isolates and 100% of MDR isolates in vitro. The median zone of inhibition was 3.33 mm (range, 1.67 to 10.67 mm). Thirteen isolates were affected via competitive overgrowth and 20 via growth inhibition.
UPEC isolates from cats were similar in phylogroup analysis to human and dog isolates. The in vitro effects of Nissle 1917 on UPEC warrant additional studies to determine if similar results can be duplicated in vivo.