During the last 5 years at least four new types of colonisation factors have been described in association with porcine postweaning diarrhea and edema disease strains of E. coli. Recently, evidence was presented that these fimbrial factors are closely related to each other, and therefore the common denomination F18 was proposed. Until now, two variants F18ab and F18ac were identified that can be distinguished by serology. Alternatively, to circumvent elaborate growth conditions for the optimal expression of F18 fimbriae in vitro, PCR and subsequent restriction enzyme digestion of the amplification product can be used to differentiate F18ab from F18ac positive isolates. Reports that studied the prevalence of F18 positive E. coli show that this factor is present in about 30% to more than 50% of the PWD or ED strains negative for F4, F5, F6 or F41. Susceptibility of pigs to colonisation depends on the availability of intestinal receptors, and is under the control of a chromosomal locus. In young pigs susceptibility increases with age. Intestinal infection with F18 positive E. coli induces protection against repeated colonisation with E. coli bearing the homologous or the heterologous fimbrial variant of F18. Finally, preliminary passive protection studies suggest that F18 antibodies inhibit the colonisation of the pig's intestine by F18ab and F18ac positive strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)