IDENTIFICATION OF THE AVIAN PATHOTYPE OF ESCHERICHIA COLI ON LAYER FLOCKS BY MULTIPLEX PCR
Introduction: Colibacillosis in poultry is determined by avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) and represents an important source of economic losses in the poultry industry. APEC’s pathogenicity relies on the presence and expression of different virulence factors. The genes ompA , iss and fimH, encoding the outer membrane protein, the protein inducing resistance to complement and the synthesis of type 1 fimbria are present in APEC strains.
Objective: Escherichia coli strains isolated from layers were analysed to assess the pathotype they belong to.
Methods: In order to detect the three genes associated with APEC strains, 16 E. coli isolates were investigated for virulence associated genes ompA, iss and fimH, using multiplex PCR.
Results: From the 16 E.coli strains submitted, multiplex PCR assessment revealed that 14 (87.5%) of the E. coli strains isolated contained at least one virulence gene, while 2 (12.5%) strains did not harbour any of the virulence genes tested. The fimH gene was noted in 13 (81.25%) of the strains tested, the ompA gene has been present in 12 (75%) strains and the iss gene was present in 9 (56.25%) strains. Eight (50%) strains were found to present all three investigated genes.
Conclusion: Presence of these genes is a strong indicatory to consider those strains as belonging to the APEC pathotype.
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