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Avian Dis. 1992 Jul-Sep;36(3):679-84.

Relationship of complement resistance and selected virulence factors in pathogenic avian Escherichia coli.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


Complement resistance, antibiotic resistance profiles, and virulence profiles of 80 Escherichia coli isolates from the intestines of normal chickens (40 isolates) and chickens diagnosed as having colisepticemia (40 isolates) were compared. Differences were observed between the two groups for antibiotic resistance, siderophore production, presence of type 1 pili, complement resistance, motility, and size of plasmids. The systemic isolates were more likely to have siderophores and type 1 pili, and to be complement-resistant and motile than were the intestinal isolates. No differences between the two groups were observed for colicin production. Further comparison of the 10 most complement-resistant isolates from the systemic group and 10 most complement-sensitive isolates from the intestinal group revealed a correlation between an isolate's resistance to complement and its ability to kill embryos, express type 1 pili, and be motile. Virulence of avian E. coli strains appears to be correlated with complement resistance and the interaction of this resistance with the ability to produce type 1 pili and be motile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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