Submitted to: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Diagnosis of postweaning colibacillosis in pigs is based upon clinical finding, histopathology, and bacteriology. An accurate diagnosis requires that E. coli isolated from weaned pigs with diarrhea be examined for virulence attributes. A PCR test developed at the NADC rapidly identifies E. coli as potential pathogens by detecting virulence genes encoding for pilus adhesins and toxins. Most E. coli causing postweaning colibacillosis express the K88 pilus or F18 pilus. We have identified and tested a live vaccine that controls disease caused by E. coli expressing the F18 pilus. This vaccine was orally administered to suckling pigs and prevented postweaning disease in experimentally infected pigs. Use of the PCR test by diagnostic laboratories can identify swine herds that have a need for this vaccine.