Occurrence of K99 antigen on Escherichia coli isolated from pigs and colonization of pig ileum by K99+ enterotoxigenic E. coli from calves and pigs

H. W. Moon, B. Nagy, R. E. Isaacson, I. Orskov

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Several strains of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) isolated from pigs were found to have an antigen (K99) previously reported only on strains of calf and lamb origin and which facilitates intestinal colonization in the latter two species. Several human ETEC were also tested for K99; however, none were positive. Each of four K99 positive ETEC strains of calf origin and one of pig origin produced K99 in pig ileum in vivo, adhered to villous epithelium in pig ileum, colonized pig ileum, and caused profuse diarrhea in newborn pigs. In contrast to the K99 positive strains above, four K99 negative ETEC from humans and chickens and one K99 positive ETEC from a calf either did not colonize pig ileum or did so inconsistently. When the K99 negative strains did colonize, they had little or no tendency to adhere to intestinal villi. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that K99 facilitates adhesion to and colonization of pig ileum by some ETEC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-620
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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