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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Aug 31;68(3-4):209-17.

Prevalence of virulence factors of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy piglets after weaning.

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Department of Microbiology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Pulawy, Poland.


This study determined the prevalence of F4, F5, F6, F17 and F41 fimbriae and the genes for FedA (F18 fimbriae), LT and ST enterotoxins, and Shiga toxins Stx1, Stx2 and Stx2e among E. coli isolated from 372 weaned pigs with diarrhea and 46 healthy pigs of the same age. Agglutination tests showed that most isolates were negative for all five fimbrial antigens. The F4 antigen was found in 71 (19.1%) and the F5, F6, or F41 antigen was detected in 6.4% of isolates from diseased pigs. Genes for the F18 fimbriae were detected in 10 (2.7%) strains from diarrheic pigs and in 1 of 46 isolates from healthy pigs. Most isolates (213, 57.3%) from pigs with diarrhea were positive for LTI only or for LTI and STI or Stx2e toxin genes. Fifteen strains (13.7%) possessed only the STI or STII toxin genes. All F4-positive bacteria had genes for LTI or LTI and STI, whereas F18-positive isolates had genes for LTI, LTI/STI, or LTI/Stx2e. Of the strains isolated from diseased pigs, 264 (71.0%) were negative for the fimbrial antigens (genes) examined in this study. The fimbria-negative isolates frequently possessed genetic determinants for LTI (118, 31.7%) or for STII (16, 4.3%) enterotoxins.

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