Fimbriae (pili) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), including K88, K99, 987P, and F41, are adhesins that facilitate intestinal colonization in neonatal pigs. K88 is also associated with some ETEC isolated from weaned pigs. Many ETEC isolates from weaned pigs do not express known adhesins and are termed 4P-. A novel bacterial adhesin, 2134P, was recently identified on two 4P- ETEC isolates from weaned pigs. In this study, we identified a 2134P-specific monoclonal antibody, mAb 6C7/C1, that blocked the binding of 2134P+ bacteria to intestinal epithelial cells. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody and immunoperoxidase assays using mAb 6C7/C1 confirmed that the 2134P adhesin is expressed in vivo by adherent bacteria in pigs challenge-exposed with 2134P+ ETEC. 2134P was detected on 31% of 189 postweaning diarrhea 4P- ETEC isolates from the National Animal Disease Center's culture collection by dot blot immunoperoxidase assays using mAb 6C7/C1. We conclude that 2134P is a bacterial adhesin and is an important virulence attribute of some ETEC that cause diarrhea in weaned pigs.
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