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J Vet Med Sci. 1998 Mar;60(3):287-90.

Distribution of uropathogenic virulence factors among Escherichia coli strains isolated from dogs and cats.

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Research Laboratories, Animal Science Division, Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan.


A variety of virulence factors (VFs) such as type 1 fimbriae, pilus associated with pyelonephritis, S fimbriae, afimbrial adhesin, alpha-hemolysin, aerobactin and cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 are associated with uropathogenic Escherichia coli. In this study, 80 uropathogenic E. coli strains in 50 dogs and 30 cats suffering from UTI. In addition, 60 E. coli strains were isolated from fecal samples from 30 each of healthy dogs and cats. The distribution of VFs of uropathogenic E. coli strains isolated from dogs and cats suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI) were examined by the colony hybridization test with seven DNA probes specific for VFs, and the results were compared with those obtained in the studies on strains from humans with UTI. In uropathogenic E. coli strains isolated from dogs and cats suffering from UTI, VFs were detected as frequently as in the strains isolated from humans with UTI. Although less frequently, genes encoding these VFs especially pap, sfa, hly, and cnf 1 genes were also associated with E. coli strains isolated from feces of healthy cats, in contrast to the distribution pattern of uropathogenic E. coli observed in humans. Furthermore, all VFs except pil were significantly more frequently detected in strains isolated from urine of animals with cystitis than in those isolated from feces of healthy humans. These results indicate that VFs of E. coli contribute to the pathogenesis of UTI in dogs and cats.

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