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Serotyping and molecular characterization of avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) in wild birds and pigeons (Columba livia)

Grant number: 12/22162-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 25, 2013
Effective date (End): June 24, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Fernando Antonio de Avila
Grantee:Clarissa Araújo Borges
Supervisor: Subhashinie Kariyawasam
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: Pennsylvania State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/06467-2 - Detection and characterization of Escherichia coli (APEC) in wild birds and pigeons (Columba livia) in Jaboticabal-SP, BP.DR


Although Escherichia coli are present in large numbers in the intestinal tract of most animals, it is likely that some specific strains are associated with diseases. For birds, these strains are called APEC. Among the virulence genes that can be found in APEC infections, are the gene for fimbriae P (papC) related to the phenomenon of adhesion and the tsh gene, which encodes to a hemagglutinin sensitive to temperature. There is a continuous excretion from E. coli carrying virulence factors through the feces, contributing to its worldwide distribution. The detection of of E. coli strains carrying virulence genes associated with APEC in wild birds and pigeons may present a risk to animal health protection, because birds hauling these genes could serve as reservoirs of strains pathogenic to other birds. The need to gain a better understanding of the APEC related genes in order to classify the APEC pathotype is the motivating factor behind this study, which aims serotype, and molecularly characterize the APEC isolates from wild birds and pigeons (Columba livia). APEC isolates will be serotype, in addition phylogenetic analysis using PCR to ChuA, YjaA and TspE4C2 and epidemiological analysis by PFGE technique will be performed. The detection of APEC and its various virulence genes can show which genes (or sets of genes) are associated with the disease, furthermore, epidemiological and phylogenetic techniques allow the understanding of evolutionary mechanisms and appearance of virulent strains. The results may show if wild birds and pigeons can be reservoirs of potentially pathogenic bacteria to commercial poultry. (AU)

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