We investigated possible sources of E. coli including ESBL producing E. coli introduction in poultry flocks. During the rearing period organs of dead chickens, faeces/boot swabs and air samples were taken. Although all environmental samples and organs from birds at arrival were negative for ESBL producing E. coli, such isolates were confirmed later on. Mostly air samples and boot swabs were positive which indicate faecal and airborn transfer. E. coli VAGs from poultry before placement and transportation boxes was compared with the virulence profile from subsequent isolated animal and environmental strains in each flock. Taken altogether, the following VAGs were statistically significantly more prevalent among isolates from diseased/death animals than in environmental isolates: ompT, traT, fyuA, irp2 and cvi, indicating that they are not environmentally aquired.
A loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for fast detection of three avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) virulence genes was developed. Applicability and performance of the method was tested on sets of samples from two different locations where disease symptoms typical of APEC occurred. Different types of samples of various tissues of the dead animals’ internal organs, environmental samples, and live animals’ swabs were tested. A simple procedure of cell lysis which is feasible to be done on the field was used for sample preparation. We were able to detect virulence genes in samples isolated from dead animals in less than 30 minutes with LAMP method. Selected genes were detected also in samples of swabs of live animals, and environmental samples, but to a lesser extent. Method LAMP has proven to be fast and reliable method for detection of the selected genes in the field.