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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2016, Vol. 15 Issue (06): 1345-1354    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61170-4
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Genomic characterization and antimicrobial susceptibility of bovine intrauterine Escherichia coli and its relationship with postpartum uterine infections
YANG Li-ming, WANG Yi-hao, PENG Yu, MIN Jiang-tao, HANG Su-qin, ZHU Wei-yun
Laboratory of Gut Microbiology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P.R.China
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Abstract    To investigate the roles of Escherichia coli in the pathogenesis of postpartum uterine diseases in dairy cows, a total of 145 E. coli isolates were recovered from 18 healthy cows (61 isolates) and 25 cows with clinical endometritis (84 isolates) at 25–35 days after parturition. Genomic characteristics including phylogenetic grouping, genetic diversity and virulence genes of E. coli isolates were screened to profile the characteristics related to uterine infections. The susceptibility of the bacteria against 23 antibiotics was also evaluated to support prevention and treatment of clinical cases. Genetic diversity of E. coli identified by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) revealed 103 clonal types, including 3 common types to unaffected cows and endometritis cows, 39 types specific to healthy cows and 61 types in endometritis subjects. In addition, the isolates from endometritis uteri showed more genetic variability compared with that of healthy cows. According to the findings of phylogenetic grouping, the E. coli isolates were assigned to group A (35.9%), B1 (59.3%) and D (4.8%). The expression of 10 of 20 virulence gens were detected positively, and only fimH gene was revealed significantly (P<0.05) associated with endometritis. From antimicrobial susceptibility test, E. coli was found highly resistant to tetracycline, ampicillin, carbenicillin and amoxicillin, but sensitive to amikacin, netilmicin, tobramycin, cefepime and ceftazidime. In conclusion, E. coli were extensively observed in both healthy and endometritis cows, and presented a large clonal types, however, fimH was the only gene observed associated with clinical endometritis. Our results suggest that the drugs like amikacin, netilmicin, tobramycin and cefepime could be considered for preventing and treating clinical endometritis in the practical management of dairy cow.  
Keywords:  postpartum dairy cow        phylogenetic grouping        genetic diversity        virulence factor        antimicrobial susceptibility  
Received: 20 May 2015   Accepted:

The study was supported by the National Key Technology R&D Program of China (2011BAD19B02).

Corresponding Authors:  HANG Su-qin, Tel: +86-25-84395037, Fax: +86-25-84395314, E-mail:    
About author:  YANG Li-ming, Tel: +86-25-84395037, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

YANG Li-ming, WANG Yi-hao, PENG Yu, MIN Jiang-tao, HANG Su-qin, ZHU Wei-yun. 2016. Genomic characterization and antimicrobial susceptibility of bovine intrauterine Escherichia coli and its relationship with postpartum uterine infections. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 15(06): 1345-1354.

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