In vivo influence of in vitro up-regulated genes in the virulence of an APEC strain associated with swollen head syndrome

Jacqueline Boldrin de Paiva, Livia Pilatti Mendes da Silva, Monique Ribeiro Tiba Casas, Rogério Arcuri Conceição, Gerson Nakazato, Fernanda de Pace, Vanessa Sperandio, Wanderley Dias da Silveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli is responsible for significant economic losses in the poultry industry by causing a range of systemic or localized diseases collectively termed colibacillosis. The virulence mechanisms of these strains that are pathogenic in poultry and possibly pathogenic in humans have not yet been fully elucidated. This work was developed to study if over-expressed genes in a microarray assay could be potentially involved in the pathogenicity of an Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli strain isolated from a swollen head syndrome case. For this study, five over-expressed genes were selected for the construction of null mutants [flgE (flagellar hook), tyrR (transcriptional regulator), potF (putrescine transporter), yehD (putative adhesin) and bfr (bacterioferritin)]. The constructed mutants were evaluated for their capacity for the adhesion and invasion of in vitro cultured cells, their motility capacity, and their pathogenic potential in one-day-old chickens compared with the wild-type strain (WT). The Δbfr strain showed a decreased adhesion capacity on avian fibroblasts compared with WT, in the presence and absence of alpha-D-mannopyranoside, and the ΔpotF strain showed decreased adhesion only in the absence of alpha-D-mannopyranoside. The ΔtyrR mutant had a reduced ability to invade Hep-2 cells. No mutant showed changes in invading CEC-32 cells. The mutants ΔflgE and ΔtyrR showed a decreased ability to survive in HD-11 cells. The motility of the mutant strains Δbfr, ΔyehD and ΔpotF was increased, while the ΔtyrR mutant showed reduction, and the ΔflgE became non-motile. No mutant strain caused the same mortality of the WT in one-day-old chickens, showing attenuation to different degrees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-105
Number of pages12
JournalAvian Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016


  • APEC
  • bfr
  • flgE
  • potF
  • swollen head syndrome
  • tyrR
  • virulence
  • yehD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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