In vitro comparison of bovine mastitis and fecal ...

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Title In vitro comparison of bovine mastitis and fecal Escherichia coli isolates
Author(s) J. Nemeth, C. A. Muckle, C. L. Gyles
Journal Veterinary microbiology
Date 1994
Volume 40
Issue 3-4
Start page 231
End page 238
Abstract In vitro methods were used to test the hypothesis that Escherichia coli from bovine mastitis are essentially no different from isolates from bovine feces. Fifty E. coli isolates from bovine mastitic milk, 50 from feces of mastitic cows and 50 from feces of healthy cows were compared with respect to biochemical properties and certain potential virulence factors. There were no significant differences among the groups in tests for biotype; production of colicins, colicin V, or Vero cell cytotoxicity; and growth in 90% gnotobiotic calf serum or 90% normal milk whey. Resistance to killing in 90% gnotobiotic calf serum varied from 66 to 84%. Most isolates grew in normal whey: the percentage in a group varied from 86 to 96. Mastitic milk isolates were significantly different from the fecal isolates in adonitol fermentation (P < or = 0.006), production of aerobactin (P < or = 0.026), and ability to grow in 90% mastitic whey (P < or = 0.00004). However, only 40% of mastitis E. coli fermented adonitol and only 20% produced aerobactin. Ninety-six percent of mastitic milk E. coli grew in mastitic whey, whereas 64% and 60%, respectively, of mastitic fecal and normal fecal isolates grew in this medium. It is concluded that none of the properties that were investigated constitute potential virulence factors or markers for ability to induce mastitis; the data are consistent with the hypothesis that mastitic E. coli are simply opportunistic pathogens.
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