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Effect of mucin 4 allele on susceptibility to experimental infection with enterotoxigenic F4 Escherichia coli in pigs fed experimental diets

Sterndale, S.O., Evans, D.J., Mansfield, J.P., Clarke, J., Sahibzada, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-7362-8323, Abraham, S., O’Dea, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585, Miller, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-4634-5819, Kim, J.C. and Pluske, J.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164 (2019) Effect of mucin 4 allele on susceptibility to experimental infection with enterotoxigenic F4 Escherichia coli in pigs fed experimental diets. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 10 . Article number: 56.

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This study investigated the validity of the DNA-marker based test to determine susceptibility to ETEC-F4 diarrhoea by comparing the results of two DNA sequencing techniques in weaner pigs following experimental infection with F4 enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC-F4). The effects of diet and genetic susceptibility were assessed by measuring the incidence of piglet post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD), faecal E. coli shedding and the diarrhoea index.

A DNA marker-based test targeting the mucin 4 gene (MUC4) that encodes F4 fimbria receptor identified pigs as either fully susceptible (SS), partially or mildly susceptible (SR), and resistant (RR) to developing ETEC-F4 diarrhoea. To further analyse this, DNA sequencing was undertaken, and a significantly higher proportion of C nucleotides was observed for RR and SR at the XbaI cleavage site genotypes when compared to SS. However, no significant difference was found between SR and RR genotypes. Therefore, results obtained from Sanger sequencing retrospectively allocated pigs into a resistant genotype (MUC4–), in the case of a C nucleotide, and a susceptible genotype (MUC4+), in the case of a G nucleotide, at the single nucleotide polymorphism site. A total of 72 weaner pigs (age ~ 21 days), weighing 6.1 ± 1.2 kg (mean ± SEM), were fed 3 different diets: (i) positive control (PC) group supplemented with 3 g/kg zinc oxide (ZnO), (ii) negative control (NC) group (no ZnO or HAMSA), and (iii) a diet containing a 50 g/kg high-amylose maize starch product (HAMSA) esterified with acetate. At days five and six after weaning, all pigs were orally infected with ETEC (serotype O149:F4; toxins LT1, ST1, ST2 and EAST). The percentage of pigs that developed diarrhoea following infection was higher (P = 0.05) in MUC4+ pigs compared to MUC4– pigs (50% vs. 26.8%, respectively). Furthermore, pigs fed ZnO had less ETEC-F4 diarrhoea (P = 0.009) than pigs fed other diets, however faecal shedding of ETEC was similar (P > 0.05) between diets.

These results confirm that MUC4+ pigs have a higher prevalence of ETEC-F4 diarrhoea following exposure, and that pigs fed ZnO, irrespective of MUC4 status, have reduced ETEC-F4 diarrhoea. Additionally, sequencing or quantifying the single nucleotide polymorphism distribution at the XbaI cleavage site may be more reliable in identifying genotypic susceptibility when compared to traditional methods.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Disease Laboratory
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 15: Life on Land
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