Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Escherichia albertii in chicken and human.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt

2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt

3 Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt.


Background:  Escherichia albertii (E. albertii) is a newly identified enteropathogen that affects humans and birds. It is a Gram-negative bacterium frequently mistaken for E. coli. Objective: To isolate E. albertii from chicken feces, products, and patients with diarrhea to assess its role in gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), also to assess antimicrobial susceptibility of this pathogen, and to identify it genetically by PCR. Methodology: 225 random samples from Assiut Governorate were tested, representing (100) chicken feces, (50) chicken products and (75) human feces from patients with gastroenteritis and IBD. The fecal samples were cultured on Hektoen enteric agar and xylose lysine deoxycholate plates. Biochemical identification of E-albertii was done by sulfur-indole motility (SIM), Simmonsʼ citrate, urease test, triple-sugar iron (TSI), lysine iron and indole test. Genotypic detection of E. albertii was done by PCR for eae and mdh genes. The isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. Results: The prevalence of E. albertii was 21.7% by culture, 18.6 % by biochemical tests and 12.8 % by PCR. Escherichia. albertii was identified by PCR in 20% of chicken feces and 9% of human feces. No E. albertii was identified in chicken products. Out of 29 isolates, 65.5 %, 51.7% were resistant to tetracycline, nalidixic acid, respectively, while lower resistance rates were observed to other antibiotics. Conclusion:  Escherichia albertii could be isolated from chicken and human feces, but not from chicken products. High resistance rate was observed for tetracycline, and nalidixic acid. Escherichia. albertii culture should be interpreted carefully and confirmed by PCR.


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