Pathogenicity of porcine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli that do not express K88, K99, F41, or 987P adhesins

Thomas A. Casey From the Physiopathology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010. Dr. Nagy was a visiting scientist from the Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

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Bela Nagy From the Physiopathology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010. Dr. Nagy was a visiting scientist from the Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

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Harley W. Moon From the Physiopathology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010. Dr. Nagy was a visiting scientist from the Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

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SUMMARY

Three-week-old weaned and colostrum-deprived neonatal (< 1 day old) pigs were inoculated to determine the pathogenicity of 2 enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates that do not express K88, K99, F41, or 987P adhesins (strains 2134 and 2171). Strains 2134 and 2171 were isolated from pigs that had diarrhea after weaning attributable to enterotoxigenic E coli infection. We found that both strains of E coli adhered in the ileum and caused diarrhea in pigs of both age groups. In control experiments, adherent bacteria were not seen in the ileum of pigs < 1 day old or 3 weeks old that were noninoculated or inoculated with a nonpathogenic strain of E coli. These control pigs did not develop diarrhea. Antisera raised against strains 2134 and 2171 and absorbed with the autologous strain, grown at 18 C, were used for bacterial-agglutination and colony-immunoblot assays. Both absorbed antisera reacted with strains 2134 and 2171, but not with strains that express K99, F41, or 987P adhesins. A cross-reaction was observed with 2 wild-type K88 strains, but not with a K12 strain that expresses K88 pili. Indirect immunofluorescence with these absorbed antisera revealed adherent bacteria in frozen sections of ileum from pigs infected with either strain. We concluded that these strains are pathogenic and express a common surface antigen that may be a novel adhesin in E coli strains that cause diarrhea in weaned pigs.

SUMMARY

Three-week-old weaned and colostrum-deprived neonatal (< 1 day old) pigs were inoculated to determine the pathogenicity of 2 enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates that do not express K88, K99, F41, or 987P adhesins (strains 2134 and 2171). Strains 2134 and 2171 were isolated from pigs that had diarrhea after weaning attributable to enterotoxigenic E coli infection. We found that both strains of E coli adhered in the ileum and caused diarrhea in pigs of both age groups. In control experiments, adherent bacteria were not seen in the ileum of pigs < 1 day old or 3 weeks old that were noninoculated or inoculated with a nonpathogenic strain of E coli. These control pigs did not develop diarrhea. Antisera raised against strains 2134 and 2171 and absorbed with the autologous strain, grown at 18 C, were used for bacterial-agglutination and colony-immunoblot assays. Both absorbed antisera reacted with strains 2134 and 2171, but not with strains that express K99, F41, or 987P adhesins. A cross-reaction was observed with 2 wild-type K88 strains, but not with a K12 strain that expresses K88 pili. Indirect immunofluorescence with these absorbed antisera revealed adherent bacteria in frozen sections of ileum from pigs infected with either strain. We concluded that these strains are pathogenic and express a common surface antigen that may be a novel adhesin in E coli strains that cause diarrhea in weaned pigs.

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