Pathotypes and serogroups of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from pre-weaning pigs in north Vietnam.J Med Microbiol 2006; 55(Pt 1):93-9JM
The contribution of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to pre-weaning diarrhoea was investigated over a 6 month period at five selected commercial piggeries (CPs) in north Vietnam with at least 100 sows each. Diarrhoea was found to affect 71.5% of the litters born during the period of study. Of 406 faecal specimens submitted for bacteriological culture, 200 (49.3%) yielded a heavy pure culture of E. coli and 126 (31%) were confirmed by PCR to carry at least one of eight porcine ETEC virulence genes. ETEC was responsible for 43% of cases of diarrhoea in neonatal pigs during the first 4 days of life and 23.9% of the remaining cases up until the age of weaning. Pathotypes were determined by PCR for the 126 ETEC isolates together with 44 ETEC isolates obtained from village pigs (VPs) raised by smallholder farmers. The CP isolates belonged to five pathotypes, four of which were also identified in VP isolates. Haemolytic serogroup O149 : K91 isolates that belonged to F4/STa/STb/LT were most commonly identified in both CPs (33% of isolates) and VPs (45.5%). Other combinations identified in both production systems included O64 (F5/STa), O101 (F4/STa/STb) and O-nontypable (F-/STb). A high proportion of CP isolates (22.3%) possessed all three enterotoxins (STa/STb/LT), lacked the genes for all five tested fimbriae (F4, F5, F6, F41 and F18) and belonged to serogroup O8. These unusual O8 F- isolates were haemolytic and were isolated from all ages of diarrhoeic piglets at each CP, suggesting that they have pathogenic potential.