Characterization of extraintestinal Escherichia coli isolated from a peacock (Pavo cristatus) with colisepticemia.Avian Dis. 2012 Jun; 56(2):436-40.AD
Extraintestinal infections by avian pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli (APEC) are commonly reported in poultry, but there is little information on infections by APEC in other bird species. Here we report on the characterization of extraintestinal E. coli isolated from a domesticated peacock, from the south of Brazil, that died of colisepticemia. Necropsy examination revealed congested liver, hypertrophied kidneys, peritonitis, severe typhlitis suggestive of coligranuloma, pneumonia, and airsacculitis--typical signs of colisepticemia. The isolates from lungs, kidney, heart, intestine, liver, and bone marrow all harbored the same virulence-associated factors (iucD, colV, iss, mat, fimC, ompA, traT crl, csgA vgrG, and hcp), yielded the same band pattern in amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis, and were allocated to the Escherichia coli Reference Collection group B1. The isolates were resistant to bacitracin, trimethoprim, and tetracycline, but displayed slight differences in their resistance to other antimicrobials. The isolates also differed in their virulence in 1-day-old chickens, but none displayed high virulence in vivo. We conclude that the peacock died of colisepticemia after it was infected with an extraintestinal E. coli strain of low virulence that nevertheless harbored virulence factors generally associated with APEC. This study represents the first characterization of an APEC isolated from a nonpoultry bird species.