EcL (Escherichia coli Laboratory) Taming bacteria to promote animal and public healthUniversité de Montréal
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Overview of the research at the EcL

The research being carried out at the EcL focuses on the fundamental and applied aspects of the identification and control of important E. coli diseases in animal production and public health. There is a particular focus on diseases associated with E. coli during the post weaning period in pigs and on the attaching and effacing E. coli (AEEC), including O157:H7 carried by ruminants.

Escherichia coli associated with the post weaning period in the pig

The two important areas are being investigated in this research.

Firstly, we are seeking alternative methods to antibiotherapy for the prevention and control of postweaning diarrhea and edema disease. We are evaluating several approaches, including oral live vaccines, such as non-enterotoxigenic F4- or F18-positive E. coli strains, oral subunit vaccines for F4 and F18, and oral passive immunotherapy using ant-F4 and -F18 chicken egg yolk antibodies.

Secondly, we are studying various aspects of the molecular epidemiology and characterization of these E. coli strains, including rapid identification of pathogenic strains, based on the presence of virulence factor genes, genotyping, and antibioresistance profiles.

Attaching and effacing Escherichia coli (AEEC)

In this program, we are focussing on the study of the pathogenesis of the attaching and effacing lesions using pig AEEC in vivo and in in vitro pig intestinal organ culture, on the prevention and control of diseases associated with these bacteria in pigs, on the elimination of the carrier state in ruminants with respect to AEEC producing the Shiga toxin (STEC), particularly focussing on the use of oral passive immunotherapy to prevent STEC colonization in pigs and bovines, and on the molecular epidemiology and characterization of these isolates.

This global approach to the study of bacterial disease, from the identification of the pathogen to the evaluation of preventive strategies in appropriate in vivo or in vitro organ culture models that we have developed, favors the rapid development of effective products and identification of new potential target technologies.

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