Woodward, J.M., Connaughton, I.D., Fahy, V.A., Lymbery, A.J. and Hampson, D. J. (1993) Clonal analysis of Escherichia coli of serogroups O9, O20, and O101 isolated from Australian pigs with neonatal diarrhea. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 31 (5). pp. 1185-1188.
The genetic diversity of 87 isolates of Escherichia coli recovered from Australian pigs with neonatal diarrhea was examined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. The isolates were of serogroups O9, O20, and O101, and although most isolates lacked K88(F4), K99(F5), 987P(F6), and F41 fimbriae, they were considered to be involved in the etiology of the diarrhea. The isolates were extremely diverse, considering their origin from a single pathological condition in one country. There were estimated to be 18, 16, and 12 clones of the three respective serogroups in the collection, with serogroup diversities of 0.387, 0.448, and 0.275, respectively. Comparison with the results previously obtained for isolates from piglets with postweaning diarrhea suggested that bacteria from piglets with these two conditions did not come from any particular common genetic background. The overall genetic diversity for the combined collection was the same as that reported by others for representative isolates selected from throughout the species (0.47). The current results indicate that if isolates of these O groups are involved in porcine diarrhea, their pathogenicity is directly linked to their O somatic antigen type and is not simply due to the wide distribution of a small number of virulent clones.