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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clonal relationships and variation in virulence among Escherichia coli strains of avian origin.

Average genetic relatedness among 44 Escherichia coli strains of serotypes O1, O2, and O78 isolated mainly from birds with colibacillosis or swollen-head syndrome from France or Saudi Arabia was estimated based on allelic variation detected by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. For 20 enzyme-encoding loci, we resolved 2.8 alleles per locus and distinguished 17 electrophoretic types (ETs) that were used to mark naturally occurring cell lineages or clones. On average, ETs differed at 37% of their loci. Forty-eight percent of the isolates represent three ETs, two of which belong to previously defined complexes of clones identified in avian disease in North America and Europe. Virulence of strains, assessed in experimental infections of day-old chicks, showed little variation among isolates of a clone, but was significantly variable among isolates of different clone complexes. These findings add support to the evidence that a majority of avian isolates that cause colibacillosis belong to a few cosmopolitan pathogenic clones and indicate a substantial between-clone component of pathogenicity.[1]


  1. Clonal relationships and variation in virulence among Escherichia coli strains of avian origin. White, D.G., Dho-Moulin, M., Wilson, R.A., Whittam, T.S. Microb. Pathog. (1993) [Pubmed]
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