Enterotoxigenic, verotoxigenic, and necrotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from cattle in Spain

Miguel Blanco From the Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxia (Miguel Blanco, Jorge Blanco, Jesús E. Blanco) and from the Departamento de Patoloxía Animal (Jacinto Ramos), Facultade de Veterinaria, Universidade de Santiago, 27002 Lugo, Spain. Miguel Blanco and Jesús E. Blanco were supported through a Formación Personal Investigador research fellowships from the Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia.

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Jorge Blanco From the Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxia (Miguel Blanco, Jorge Blanco, Jesús E. Blanco) and from the Departamento de Patoloxía Animal (Jacinto Ramos), Facultade de Veterinaria, Universidade de Santiago, 27002 Lugo, Spain. Miguel Blanco and Jesús E. Blanco were supported through a Formación Personal Investigador research fellowships from the Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia.

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Jesús E. Blanco From the Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxia (Miguel Blanco, Jorge Blanco, Jesús E. Blanco) and from the Departamento de Patoloxía Animal (Jacinto Ramos), Facultade de Veterinaria, Universidade de Santiago, 27002 Lugo, Spain. Miguel Blanco and Jesús E. Blanco were supported through a Formación Personal Investigador research fellowships from the Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia.

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Jacinto Ramos From the Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxia (Miguel Blanco, Jorge Blanco, Jesús E. Blanco) and from the Departamento de Patoloxía Animal (Jacinto Ramos), Facultade de Veterinaria, Universidade de Santiago, 27002 Lugo, Spain. Miguel Blanco and Jesús E. Blanco were supported through a Formación Personal Investigador research fellowships from the Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica of the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia.

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Summary

To assess the role of enterotoxigenic (etec), verotoxigenic (vtec), and necrotoxigenic (ntec) Escherichia coli in cattle with diarrhea, 1,524 colonies of E coli isolated from 197 calves with diarrhea and from 112 healthy controls were investigated for production of heat-labile and heat-stable enterotoxins, verotoxins, and cytotoxic necrotizing factors (cnf1 and cnf2). The etec were isolated from only 2(1%) calves with diarrhea and from 5 (4%) healthy controls. In contrast, vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 were frequently identified. The vtec were isolated from 18 (9%) calves with diarrhea and from 21 (19%) healthy cattle (P < 0.05), whereas ntec that produced cnf2 were detected in 39 (20%) ill calves and in 38 (34%) controls (P < 0.01). Therefore, vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 were isolated significantly more frequently from healthy than diseased calves. Serogroups to which vtec belonged differed considerably from the O groups involved with ntec. Although, vtec belonged to 18 serogroups, only 4 (026, 0103, 0113, and 0157) accounted for 56% (25 of 45) of verotoxigenic strains. The ntec that produced cnf2 belonged to 26 serogroups; however, 64% (69 of 108) were from 6 serogroups (O1, 03, 015, 055, 088, and 0123). Our results are compatible with cattle being a reservoir of vtec that are pathogenic for human beings and with etec being an unusual cause of bovine colibacillosis in Galicia (northwestern Spain). Furthermore, results of this study indicate that vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 may be part of the normal intestinal flora of cattle.

Summary

To assess the role of enterotoxigenic (etec), verotoxigenic (vtec), and necrotoxigenic (ntec) Escherichia coli in cattle with diarrhea, 1,524 colonies of E coli isolated from 197 calves with diarrhea and from 112 healthy controls were investigated for production of heat-labile and heat-stable enterotoxins, verotoxins, and cytotoxic necrotizing factors (cnf1 and cnf2). The etec were isolated from only 2(1%) calves with diarrhea and from 5 (4%) healthy controls. In contrast, vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 were frequently identified. The vtec were isolated from 18 (9%) calves with diarrhea and from 21 (19%) healthy cattle (P < 0.05), whereas ntec that produced cnf2 were detected in 39 (20%) ill calves and in 38 (34%) controls (P < 0.01). Therefore, vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 were isolated significantly more frequently from healthy than diseased calves. Serogroups to which vtec belonged differed considerably from the O groups involved with ntec. Although, vtec belonged to 18 serogroups, only 4 (026, 0103, 0113, and 0157) accounted for 56% (25 of 45) of verotoxigenic strains. The ntec that produced cnf2 belonged to 26 serogroups; however, 64% (69 of 108) were from 6 serogroups (O1, 03, 015, 055, 088, and 0123). Our results are compatible with cattle being a reservoir of vtec that are pathogenic for human beings and with etec being an unusual cause of bovine colibacillosis in Galicia (northwestern Spain). Furthermore, results of this study indicate that vtec and ntec that produced cnf2 may be part of the normal intestinal flora of cattle.

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