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Virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes associated with the in-vivo pathogenicity of avian pathogenic E. coli isolates

Ahmed I Abd El-Mawgoud, Azza A.A. El-Sawah, Soad A Nasef, Al-Hussien M. Dahshan, Ahmed Ali.


In the current study, ten avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) isolates of the most predominant APEC serogroups isolated from broiler chickens in Egypt were screened for their virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes pattern using PCR. Five selected virulence gene patterns were further investigated for their in-vivo pathogenicity test. Results showed a 100% prevalence of the β-lactams and tetracyclines resistance genes. However, aminoglycoside and quinolone resistance genes were not detected. Also, 80% of the tested isolates harbored mcr-1 gene, colistin resistance gene. In-vivo pathogenic strains consistently harbored the virulence gene pattern of fimH, fimA, papC, iutA, and tsh. Additionally, the tsh gene was consistently detected with lethal APEC isolates in day-old chicks. These results highlighted the high prevalence of antimicrobial and virulence genes in APEC that potentially represent a public health concern. In this study, the virulence genes fimH, fimA, papC, iutA, and tsh were the most common virulence gene patterns associated with pathogenicity in day-old chicks

Key words: E. coli, broiler chickens, colistin resistance, virulence, pathogenicity

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