Diverse Escherichia coli pathovars of phylogroups B2 and D isolated from animals in Tunisia
Introduction: The virulent Escherichia coli strains responsible for extraintestinal infections were mainly belonged to B2 and D phylogroups. However, no past studies have determinate via the presence of virulence genes the frequency of E. coli pathovars recovered from animals housed in farms in Tunisia. The aims of this study were to investigate 26 E. coli isolated from healthy and diarrheic animals and to determinate via the presence of virulence genes the frequency of pathovars.
Methodology: Twenty-six E. coli isolates of phylogroups B2 (n = 14), B22 (n = 9), B23 (n = 5), and D2 (n = 12) were characterized. Genes encoding virulence factors (fimH,eaeA,aggC,papC, papG allele III, hlyA, east1, cnf1, exhA,stx1, stx2, iutA, fyuA, ibeA,and ipaH), and antibiotic resistance as well as class 1 and 2 integrons were searched by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genetic relationship of isolates was done by PFGE.
Results: According to the occurrence of specific genes the 26 isolates were classified as:9 EAEC, 2 EHEC, 4 UPEC, 3 EPEC/EHEC and 1 NTEC. Therefore, 2 Ex-PEC and 5 APEC were presented amongst our strains. Some isolates (12) were clonal and the remaining was unrelated.
Conclusions: Higher diversity of pathovars which carried diverse combinations of virulence genes in healthy isolates. In addition, it seems that the infections were caused by different mechanisms.
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