Research Communication

Investigation of multidrug-resistant fatal colisepticaemia in weanling pigs

Folorunso O. Fasina, Dauda G. Bwala, Evelyn Madoroba
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 82, No 1 | a986 | DOI: | © 2015 Folorunso O. Fasina, Dauda G. Bwala, Evelyn Madoroba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2015 | Published: 27 November 2015

About the author(s)

Folorunso O. Fasina, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Dauda G. Bwala, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Evelyn Madoroba, Bacteriology Section, Agricultural Research Council–Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, South Africa


Escherichia coli is usually a benign commensal of the gut microflora. However, when E. coli acquires virulence genes it can multiply rapidly and cause disease through colonisation of the intestinal mucosa. Escherichia coli can become a significant pathogen in young pigs. We report an investigation of fatal colisepticaemia in weanling pigs from emerging farms where piglets and weaners were diarrhoeic and the mortality rate ranged between 15% and 70% in each litter. Faecal and tissue samples were processed for histopathology, bacteriology and molecular biology (multiplex and monoplex polymerase chain reaction) and we recovered enteroaggregative multidrug-resistant E. coli producing EAST-1 enterotoxin. An association between poor housing conditions and the observed cases was established and future management programmes were recommended to reduce the impact of such pathogens. Enteroaggregative E. coli is becoming a major problem in the pig industry. It therefore becomes necessary to establish the full impact of E. coli on the South African pig industry and to determine the geographic extent of the problem.


enteroaggregative E. coli; drug resistance; pig; South Africa


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