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Microb Pathog. 1997 Jun;22(6):331-41.

Localization of the in vivo expression of P and F1 fimbriae in chickens experimentally inoculated with pathogenic Escherichia coli.

Author information

1
Département de Pathologie et Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine Véterinaire, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

Escherichia coli causing septicemia in poultry often possess F1 (type 1) and/or P fimbriae which may be involved in bacterial colonization and infection. To investigate the expression of these fimbriae in vivo, two pathogenic E. coli strains with different fimbrial profiles, TK3 (fim+/pap+) and MT78 (fim+/pap-), were administered to 2-week-old chickens by either the intratracheal or caudal thoracic air sac inoculation route. Antibodies specific for native F1 fimbriae were detected by ELISA and immunodot in the serum of chickens inoculated with either strain MT78 or strain TK3, irrespective of the route of inoculation. Antibodies specific for P fimbriae of serotype F11 were detected by ELISA and immunoblotting in the serum of chickens inoculated by either route with strain TK3. F1, but not P fimbriae, were expressed by bacteria colonizing the trachea of chickens inoculated by the air sac route with strain MT78 or TK3, as demonstrated by examination of frozen tissue sections using immunofluorescence. F1 fimbriae were also expressed by bacteria colonizing the air sacs and lungs, but not by bacteria in the blood or other internal organs, of chickens inoculated with either strain. P fimbriae were expressed by bacteria colonizing the air sacs, lungs, kidney, blood, and pericardial fluid, but not by bacteria colonizing the trachea, of chickens inoculated with strain TK3. Fimbriae-like structures were observed by electron microscopy on bacteria adhering to the epithelial cells of the air sacs of chickens inoculated with strain TK3. These results demonstrate that both strains MT78 and TK3 undergo in vivo phase variation with respect to their fimbrial profiles and site of bacterial colonization in different organs of infected chickens and suggest that F1 fimbriae are important for initial bacterial colonization of the upper respiratory tract whereas P fimbriae are important for later stages of the infection.

PMID:
9188088
DOI:
10.1006/mpat.1996.0116
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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