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Veterinary microbiology

New perspectives to the enterotoxigenic E. coli F4 porcine infection model: Susceptibility genotypes in relation to performance, diarrhoea and bacterial shedding.


PMID 27665990

Abstract

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), causing post-weaning diarrhoea, is a major problem in weaned piglets. Individual animal responses to ETEC infection show high variability in animal experiments. Two studies were designed to optimize the ETEC F4ac infection model in piglets by combining the genotype susceptibility with performance, diarrhoea incidence and bacterial shedding. The studies were performed with respectively 120 and 80 male piglets that were tested for susceptibility or resistance towards ETEC O149:F4ac by a DNA marker based test. Three different genotypes were observed; resistant (RR), susceptible heterozygote (RS) and susceptible homozygote (SS). Piglets, were orally infected with an inoculum suspension (containing 1.5E8 CFU/ml ETEC F4ac) at day 0, 1 and 2 of the study. Performance, diarrhoea incidence and bacterial shedding were followed for 21days. In the first week after challenge a difference in average daily gain was observed between resistant and susceptible piglets in both studies. For the complete study period no significant differences were observed. Diarrhoea incidence was significantly higher in susceptible pigs compared to the resistant pigs in the first week after challenge. Bacterial shedding was much higher in the susceptible pigs and ETEC excretion lasted longer. ETEC was hardly detected in the faecal material of the resistant pigs. In conclusion, susceptible pigs showed higher diarrhoea incidence and higher numbers of faecal ETEC shedding in the first week after challenge compared to resistant pigs. The DNA marker based test can be used to select pigs that are susceptible for ETEC for inclusion in ETEC infection model, resulting in less animals needed to perform infection studies.

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