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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006 Apr;46(3):340-50.

Use of virulence factor-specific egg yolk-derived immunoglobulins as a promising alternative to antibiotics for prevention of attaching and effacing Escherichia coli infections.

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Groupe de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses du porc, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada.


Using a porcine ileal in vitro organ culture model, we have demonstrated that egg yolk-derived antibodies specific for the attaching and effacing Escherichia coli (AEEC) virulence factors intimin and translocated intimin receptor (Tir), but not those specific for the AEEC-secreted proteins EspA, EspB and EspD, significantly reduced the bacterial adherence of the porcine enteropathogenic E. coli strain ECL1001, formerly 86-1390. Moreover, antibodies specific for intimin and Tir also significantly reduced bacterial adherence of heterologous AEEC strains, including human, bovine and canine enteropathogenic E. coli strains, as well as of O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains in this model. In addition, we demonstrated that the oral administration of these anti-intimin antibodies significantly reduced the extent of attaching and effacing lesions found in the small intestine of weaned pigs challenged with the porcine enteropathogenic E. coli strain ECL1001. Overall, our results underline the potential use of specific egg yolk-derived antibodies as a novel approach for the prevention of AEEC infections.

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