Prevalence of four enterotoxin (STaP, STaH, STb, and LT) and four adhesin subunit (K99, K88, 987P, and F41) genes among Escherichia coli isolates from cattle

Jacques G. Mainil From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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Françoise Bex From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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Etienne Jacquemin From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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Pierre Pohl From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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Martine Couturier From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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Albert Kaeckenbeeck From the Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Brussels, B-1070 (Mainil, Jacquemin, Kaeckenbeeck), the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Brussels, Rhode St-Genèse, B-1640 (Bex, Couturier), and the National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, B-1180 (Pohl), Belgium.

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SUMMARY

Colony hybridizations with DNA probes for 3 heat-stable (STap, STaH, and STb) enterotoxins and 1 heat-labile (LT) enterotoxin and for 4 adhesins (K99, F41, K88, 987P) were performed on 870 Escherichia coli isolates to determine pathotypes prevalent among enterotoxigenic E coli (ETEC) isolated form cattle in Belginum. One hundred thirty-two E coli isolates (15.2%) hybridized with probes STap, K99, and/or F41. The 5 other probes were not hybridized by E coli isolates. Therefore, only STaP enterotoxin and K99 and F41 adhesins were virulence factors of ETEC isolated from cattle. Two major pathotypes accounted for 95% of the ETEC: STaP+ K99+ F41+ (67.4%) and STaP+ K99+ (27.3%). The last 5% of probe-positive isolates had STaP+ STaP+ F41+, or K99+ F41+ minor pathotypes. Of 12 American ETEC isolates also assayed, 7 were positive with STb and/or 987P probes (pathotypes STap+ STb+ STaP+ 987P+, or STaP+STb+987P+) and may be porcine-rather than bovine-specific enteropathogens. The remaining 5 American ETEC isolates belonged to 3 minor pathotypes (STaP+, STaP+, F41+, and K99+ F41+) also found among Belgian E coli isolates. Such isolates may be derivatives of STaP+ K99+ F41+ or STaP+ K99+ etec after in vivo or in vitro loss of virulence genes and /or non-etec isolates, which have acquired virulence genes by in vivo transfer.

SUMMARY

Colony hybridizations with DNA probes for 3 heat-stable (STap, STaH, and STb) enterotoxins and 1 heat-labile (LT) enterotoxin and for 4 adhesins (K99, F41, K88, 987P) were performed on 870 Escherichia coli isolates to determine pathotypes prevalent among enterotoxigenic E coli (ETEC) isolated form cattle in Belginum. One hundred thirty-two E coli isolates (15.2%) hybridized with probes STap, K99, and/or F41. The 5 other probes were not hybridized by E coli isolates. Therefore, only STaP enterotoxin and K99 and F41 adhesins were virulence factors of ETEC isolated from cattle. Two major pathotypes accounted for 95% of the ETEC: STaP+ K99+ F41+ (67.4%) and STaP+ K99+ (27.3%). The last 5% of probe-positive isolates had STaP+ STaP+ F41+, or K99+ F41+ minor pathotypes. Of 12 American ETEC isolates also assayed, 7 were positive with STb and/or 987P probes (pathotypes STap+ STb+ STaP+ 987P+, or STaP+STb+987P+) and may be porcine-rather than bovine-specific enteropathogens. The remaining 5 American ETEC isolates belonged to 3 minor pathotypes (STaP+, STaP+, F41+, and K99+ F41+) also found among Belgian E coli isolates. Such isolates may be derivatives of STaP+ K99+ F41+ or STaP+ K99+ etec after in vivo or in vitro loss of virulence genes and /or non-etec isolates, which have acquired virulence genes by in vivo transfer.

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