Clonal diversity among strains of Escherichia coli incriminated in turkey colisepticemia

David G. White, Richard A. Wilson, Darryl A. Emery, Kakambi V. Nagaraja, Thomas S. Whittam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extent of genetic differentiation among 80 Escherichia coli isolates collected from turkeys with acute colisepticemia was assessed based on allelic variation at 20 enzyme-encoding loci detected by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Isolates were polymorphic at 117 loci and were classified into 32 multilocus genotypes, delineating clones, that differed on average at 36% of the loci. In the total sample, 29 (36%) of the isolates belonged to one of two closely related clones, differing only in a single electromorph, and 11 of these isolates were serogroup O78. Most isolates fell into one of 4 genetically distinct clusters of strains. Three of these clusters represent E. coli clone complexes that have been previously identified in avian diseases and a fourth cluster which is specific to coliseptecimia in turkeys. Most (73%) isolates produced aerobactin, whereas none produced hemolysins. Assays for detecting K1 capsules. including the use of polyclonal antisera, monoclonal antibodies, and K1-specific bacteriophages, gave variable resutls, but showed that overall 18% of the strains from colisepticemia were K1 encapsulated with most of the K1+ isolates found in one clone cluster. The results show that many cases of colisepticemia in turkey flocks are caused by a small number of pathogenic clones representing at least three distinct clone complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1993

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