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Vet Microbiol. 1994 Jun;40(3-4):219-30.

Prevalence of F107 fimbriae on Escherichia coli isolated from pigs with oedema disease or postweaning diarrhoea.

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Laboratory of Bacteriology, National Institute for Veterinary Research, Brussels, Belgium.


The study comprises fifty 4 to 12 weeks old pigs that died from oedema disease or severe diarrhoea. Smears were prepared from the mucosa of duodenum, jejunum and ileum, and by immunofluorescence F107 fimbrial antigens were detected. E. coli strains were isolated from the intestines and were characterised by slide agglutination (serogroup and F107 fimbriae production), by their cytotoxicity for Vero cells, and by gene amplification (genes coding for the major F107 subunit FedA, the toxin causing oedema disease SLT-IIv, and enterotoxins LTI, STIa and STII). F107 fimbriae were demonstrated in association with E. coli of serogroups O139:K12 and O141:K85a,b but not of serogroup O149:K91:F4a,c. Expression in culture of F107 fimbriae by some isolates gave additional evidence for production of these fimbriae by ETEC strains. The genetic determinant of SLT-Ilv was found in association with F107, and could not be detected in serogroup O149:K91:F4a,c. Gene fedA was demonstrated in two isolates which were devoid of SLT-IIv. Most isolates from cases of oedema disease belonged to serogroup O139:K12 and did not contain enterotoxin genes. Isolates from pigs that suffered from diarrhoea were serotyped O141:K85a,b or O149:K91:F4a,c, and carried at least two enterotoxin genes in their genomes. In a small proportion of the cases F107 antigens were demonstrated in intestinal smears although gene fedA was not detected in the corresponding isolates. The results confirm the importance of F107 fimbriae as virulence factor in oedema disease E. coli strains, but also demonstrate that F107 fimbriae can be found in association with postweaning diarrhoea isolates. In these latter strains enterotoxins were always demonstrated, irrespective of the presence of toxin SLT-IIv.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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