Interaction with avian cells and colonisation of specific pathogen free chicks by Shiga-toxin negative Escherichia coli O157:H7 (NCTC 12900)
Best, A., La Ragione, R. M., Cooley, W. A., O'Connor, C. D., Velge, P. and Woodward, M. J. (2003) Interaction with avian cells and colonisation of specific pathogen free chicks by Shiga-toxin negative Escherichia coli O157:H7 (NCTC 12900). Veterinary Microbiology, 93 (3). pp. 207-222. ISSN 0378-1135
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/s0378-1135(03)00031-2
The prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in birds is low but several deliberate inoculation studies show that poultry are readily and persistently infected by this organism indicating a possible threat to public health. The mechanisms of colonisation of poultry are not understood and the aim is to establish models to study the interaction of E. coli O157:H7, at the cellular and whole animal levels. A non-toxigenic E. coli O157:H7 (NCTC 12900) was used in adherence assays with an avian epithelial cell line (Div-1) and used to inoculate 1-day-old SPF chicks. In vitro, NCTC 12900 induced micro-colonies associated with cytoskeletal arrangements and pedestal formation with intimate bacterial attachment. In the 1-day-old SPF chick, a dose of 1 x 10(5) cfu resulted in rapid and extensive colonisation of the gastrointestinal tract and transient colonisation of the liver and spleen. The number of E. coli O157:H7 organisms attained approximately 10(8) cfu/ml caecal homogenate 24 h after inoculation and approximately 10(7) cfu/ml caecal homogenate was still present at day 92. Faecal shedding persisted for 169 days, ceasing 9 days after the birds came into lay and 6% of eggs were contaminated on the eggshell. Histological analysis of tissue samples from birds dosed with 1 x 10(7) cfu gave evidence for E coli O157:H7 NCTC 12900 induced micro-colonies on the caecal mucosa, although evidence for attaching effacing lesions was equivocal. These models may be suitable to study those factors of E. coli O157:H7 that mediate persistent colonisation in avian species.