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Open AccessArticle

Incidence, Pathotyping, and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli among Diseased Broiler Chicks

1
Department of poultry and fish diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University, Edfina, Elbehira 22758, Egypt
2
Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
3
Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
4
Department of Zoology, College of Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
5
Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020114
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
A total of 54 broiler flocks during the first two weeks of life was used to investigate the incidence of avian pathogenic E. coli in Egypt; 28 isolates (51.85%) were revealed by colony morphology and biochemical identification which then investigated for their serogroups and only 18/28 isolates were serotyped. The most prevalent serotypes were O115, O142, O158, O55, O125, O114, O27, O20, and O15. By application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 83.3% (15/18) of the serotyped isolates were confirmed to be E. coli, and 93.3% (14/15), 46.6% (7/15), and 20% (3/15) of isolates harbored the iss, iutA, and fimH genes, respectively. Virulence testing of the selected 13 APEC isolates on the specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chicks revealed them to be highly virulent (15.4%), moderately virulent (23.1%), and avirulent (61.5%); however, all isolates (100%) were extremely virulent towards SPF embryonated chicken eggs. Antibiotic resistance (100% of isolates (n = 13)) was observed for ampicillin, amoxycillin–clavulanic acid, and tetracyclines, colistin (92.31%; 12/13), doxycycline and spiramycin (84.62%; 11/13), florfenicol (69.23%; 9/13), cefotaxime (61.54%; 8/13), and ciprofloxacin (53.85%; 7/13). The highest percentage of sensitivity (53.85% of isolates; 7/13) was recorded for ofloxacin and enrofloxacin followed by gentamycin (46.15%; 6/13). The results suggest that the diagnosis of APEC with PCR is rapid and more accurate than traditional methods for E. coli identification; moreover, the presence or absence of iss, iutA, and/or fimH genes is not an indicator of in vivo pathogenicity of APEC. Thus, further studies, including a wider range of virulence genes and gene sequencing, are required. In addition, serotyping has no effect on the virulence of APEC.
Keywords: E. coli; APEC; serotyping; PCR; virulence gene; antibiotics; broilers; resistance E. coli; APEC; serotyping; PCR; virulence gene; antibiotics; broilers; resistance
MDPI and ACS Style

Awad, A.M.; El-Shall, N.A.; Khalil, D.S.; Abd El-Hack, M.E.; Swelum, A.A.; Mahmoud, A.H.; Ebaid, H.; Komany, A.; Sammour, R.H.; Sedeik, M.E. Incidence, Pathotyping, and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli among Diseased Broiler Chicks. Pathogens 2020, 9, 114.

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