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Animals (Basel). 2019 Dec 13;9(12). pii: E1142. doi: 10.3390/ani9121142.

Rabbit Enteropathies on Commercial Farms in the Iberian Peninsula: Etiological Agents Identified in 2018-2019.

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Veterinary Diagnostic Disease and Autogenous Vaccine Laboratory, Exopol SL, Poligono Rio Gallego, D/8. 50840 San Mateo de Gallego, Zaragoza, Spain.


Digestive disorders are the main cause of economic damage to rabbit farms. This article provides a global and updated overview of the diverse etiological agents causing them, since 757 clinical cases were analyzed during 2018 and 2019-Ninety-five from young rabbits (<15 days old), 117 from preweaning rabbits (15-35 days old), and 545 from growing rabbits. Etiological diagnosis was carried out by bacteriological culture and a set of real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) tests for the detection of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Clostridium spiroforme, C. perfringens, rotavirus A, Bacteroides fragilis, and Eimeria spp. Also, 40 EPEC and 38 non EPEC isolates were investigated for the presence of other colonization factors (afr2, ral, liftA, and paa) by qPCR. EPEC is the most prevalent agent in young rabbits, and although different virulence profiles have been found among EPEC isolates, the liftA+, ral+, and paa+ profile is the most prevalent. C. spiroforme and EPEC are the more frequently detected pathogens in preweaning rabbits, but B. fragilis appears to be a new possible emergent pathogen. In growing rabbits, diverse co-infections between C. spiroforme, Eimeria spp., EPEC, and rotavirus are much more frequent than infections due to only one of them. Other pathogens detected in very few cases are Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus hirae.


Bacteriodes fragilis; Clostridium spiroforme; EPEC; Eimeria; Escherichia coli; digestive; rabbit; rotavirus

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