Serotypes, virulence genes, intimin types and PFGE profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from piglets with diarrhoea in Slovakia.Vet J 2007; 174(1):176-87VJ
Two hundred and fifty Escherichia coli isolates from diarrhoeic and healthy piglets were serotyped and tested for the presence of virulence genes for fimbriae, intimin, heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (STa and STb) enterotoxins, Stx toxins, and enteroaggregative heat-stable 1 (EAST1) enterotoxin by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Although 220 isolates from diarrhoeic piglets belonged to 43 O serogroups and 77 O:H serotypes, 60% were of one of the 10 serogroups O2, O8, O15, O54, O84, O101, O141, O147, O149 and O157, and 60% belonged to only 10 serotypes (O8:H-, O54:H-, O84:H7, O101:H-, O141:H-, O141:H4, O147:H-, O149:H10, O163:H-, and ONT:H-). PCR showed that 79% of 220 isolates carried genes for at least one of the virulence factors tested. The gene encoding for EAST1 was the most prevalent (65%) followed by those encoding for STb (49%), LT (42%), STa (13%), and Stx2e (4%). Eighty-three (38%) of the 220 E. coli isolates carried the gene for F4 (K88), whereas genes for F18, F5 (K99), F41, F6 (P987), F17, and intimin (eae) were detected in 9%, 3%, 3%, 3%, 1%, and 3%, respectively. Seropathotype O149:H10:F4:LT/STb/EAST1 (70 isolates) was the most common, representing 32% of isolates. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis with XbaI of 15 O149:H10 representative isolates from diarrhoeic piglets distinguished 14 types. The 15 isolates exhibited a wide variability of distinct restriction patterns though all belonged to the same serotype (O149:H10), and all but one showed identical virulence determinants (F4, LT, STb, and EAST1). Among 30 isolates from healthy piglets only two virulence genes were detected: EAST1 (26%) and eae (17%). In total, 12 isolates were positives for the eae gene: five isolates had intimin beta1, four possessed intimin theta and three showed intimin type xiB. This is believed to be the first study describing the presence of intimin type xiB in E. coli of porcine origin.