Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) are important causes of diarrhea and edema disease in swine. The majority of swine-pathogenic E. coli strains belong to a limited range of O serogroups, including O8, O138, O139, O141, O147, O149, and O157, which are the most frequently reported strains worldwide. However, the circumstances of ETEC and STEC infections in Japan remain unknown; there have been few reports on the prevalence or characterization of swine-pathogenic E. coli. In the present study, we determined the O serogroups of 967 E. coli isolates collected between 1991 and 2014 from diseased swine in Japan, and we found that O139, O149, O116, and OSB9 (O serogroup of Shigella boydii type 9) were the predominant serogroups. We further analyzed these four O serogroups using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, and virulence factor profiling. Most of the O139 and O149 strains formed serogroup-specific PFGE clusters (clusters I and II, respectively), whereas the O116 and OSB9 strains were grouped together in the same cluster (cluster III). All of the cluster III strains belonged to a single sequence type (ST88) and carried genes encoding both enterotoxin and Shiga toxin. This PFGE cluster III/ST88 lineage exhibited a high level of multidrug resistance (to a median of 10 antimicrobials). Notably, these bacteria were resistant to fluoroquinolones. Thus, this lineage should be considered a significant risk to animal production due to the toxigenicity and antimicrobial resistance of these bacteria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)