Caister Academic Press

Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Domestic Mammals and Birds

Jacques G. Mainil and John M. Fairbrother
from: Pathogenic Escherichia coli: Molecular and Cellular Microbiology (Edited by: Stefano Morabito). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Escherichia coli is an important cause of disease worldwide and occurs in most mammalian species, including humans, and in birds. E. coli was first described in 1885 by a German pediatrician, Theodor Escherich, in the faeces of a child suffering from diarrhoea. In 1893, a Danish veterinarian postulated that the E. coli species comprises different strains, some being pathogens, others not. Today, pathogenic E. coli are classified into categories or pathotypes based on the production of virulence factors and on the clinical manifestations that they cause. The most important categories in animals are those colonising the intestine and causing diarrhoea in calves, pigs, and most other animal species, those colonising the intestine and causing a toxaemia, or oedema disease, in pigs, and those residing in the intestine of healthy animals but capable of invading the host in certain conditions and causing septicaemia in young animals of most species, localised or systemic infections in poultry, or urinary tract infections, especially in dogs. The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the most relevant pathotypes causing infections in domestic mammals and birds, with emphasis on their history, virulence-associated properties, economic importance, diagnostic procedures, public health hazard, and vaccine potential read more ...
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