Original Research

Monitoring the genetic variation of some Escherichia coli strains in wild birds and cattle

Ghada A. Ibrahim, Ahmed M. Salah-Eldein, Mayasar I. Al-zaban, Amal S.A. El-Oksh, Elsayyad M. Ahmed, Doaa S. Farid, Enas M. Saad
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 90, No 1 | a2085 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v90i1.2085 | © 2023 Ghada A. Ibrahim, Ahmed M. Salah-Eldein, Mayasar I. Al-zaban, Amal S.A. El-Oksh, Elsayyad M. Ahmed, Doaa S. Farid, Enas M. Saad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2022 | Published: 26 July 2023

About the author(s)

Ghada A. Ibrahim, Bacteriology Department, Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Animal Health Research Institute, Ismailia, Egypt
Ahmed M. Salah-Eldein, Wildlife and Zoo Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
Mayasar I. Al-zaban, Department of Biology, College of Science, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Amal S.A. El-Oksh, Biotechnology Department, Reference Lab of Quality Control of Poultry Production (RLQP), Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Animal Health Research Institute, Sharkia, Egypt
Elsayyad M. Ahmed, Department of Virology, Animal Health, Research Institute (AHRI), Agricultural Research Center (ARC), Giza, Egypt
Doaa S. Farid, Department of Environmental Protection, Faculty of Environmental Agricultural Sciences, Arish University, El-Arish, Egypt
Enas M. Saad, Wildlife and Zoo Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Abstract

To date, there is limited data about the genetic relationship of Escherichia coli between wild birds and cattle because these birds act as silent vectors for many zoonotic bacteria. This study aimed to elucidate the role of rooming wild birds in the vicinity of cattle farm in transmission of the same pathogenic E. coli variants, identifying their virulence, resistance traits and genetic similarities of fimH virulence gene. About 240 faecal/cloacal swabs were collected from both species and examined bacteriologically. Escherichia coli was yielded in 45.8% and 32.5%, respectively, of examined cattle and wild birds. The most prevalent detected E. coli serovar was O26. High tetracycline and chloramphenicol resistance were recorded; however, gentamycin and ciprofloxacin exhibited the highest sensitivity rates. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conserved genotypic resistance (tetA and blaCTX-M) and virulence attributes (fimH, stx1, eaeA and ompA) of E. coli isolates were discussed in detail. The fimH gene revealed 100% sequence similarity when comparing with different E. coli isolates globally and locally. Finally, a close genetic association of E. coli with both wild birds and cattle was detected, thus strengthening its role in the dissemination of the infection via environment. Prevention and conservative policy should be carried as E. coli constitute enormous significant zoonotic risks to livestock and animal workers. Also, further studies to the whole genome sequencing of fimH, other virulence and resistance genes of E. coli are recommended trying to limit the possibilities of co-infection and transfer among different species.

Contribution: The current study recorded updated data about the critical infectious role of wild birds to livestock, including cattle farms in Egypt. It also delivered some recommendations for good hygienic practices in cattle farms which must be implemented for handling animal manure.


Keywords

E. coli; wild birds; cattle; virulence genes; resistant genes; PCR; antibiotics; sequencing

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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