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Vet Microbiol. 2003 Jan 2;91(1):41-56.

In vitro adhesion of an avian pathogenic Escherichia coli O78 strain to surfaces of the chicken intestinal tract and to ileal mucus.

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Division of General Microbiology, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


The role of fimbria in adherence of an avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) O78 strain 789 to chicken intestine was studied. Bacterial adhesion to tissue sections representing the regions within the chicken intestinal tract was determined by using immunohistochemical methods. E. coli 789 grown to express the type 1 fimbria adhered efficiently to the crop epithelium, to the lamina propria of intestinal villi, and to the apical surfaces of both the mature as well as the crypt-located enterocytes in intestinal villi, whereas no adhesion to mucus-producing goblet cells was detected. The adhesion was inhibited by mannoside and the role of type 1 fimbriae in the observed adhesion was confirmed with a recombinant strain expressing type 1 fimbriae genes cloned from E. coli and Salmonella enterica. E. coli 789 strain grown to favor AC/I fimbriae expression as well as the recombinant E. coli strain expressing the fac genes adhered to goblet cells but only poorly to the other epithelial sites. E. coli strain 789 as well as S. enterica serovar Typhimurium IR715 and S. enterica serovar Enteriditis TN2 strains were able to multiply in ileal mucus medium. The type 1 fimbria expressing bacteria adhered to the ileal mucus, whereas the AC/I fimbriated strains showed poor adherence to the mucus. The adhesion of E. coli 789 onto the crop epithelium and the follicle associated epithelium of the chicken ileum was efficiently inhibited by an adhesive strain ST1 of Lactobacillus crispatus isolated from chicken, whereas poor inhibition of E. coli adherence was observed with the weakly adhesive L. crispatus strain 134mi. The type 1 fimbriae may be important in colonization of the chicken intestine by APEC and Salmonella.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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