We investigated possible sources of E. coli including ESBL producing E. coli introduction in poultry flocks. Three broiler breeder and two meat- type turkey flocks were included in the study. 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: ompT, traT, fyuA, irp2 and cvi.
Avian colibacillosis has been reported in birds of all ages and in the intensive poultry production colibacilllosis is one of the most important health and economical problem. Although Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract of poultry; however, some strains can induce severe disease in birds. Such strains are known as avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC). In Slovenia, in the last years infections with APEC caused very high economic losses in broilers as well as in broiler breeders in various form of the disease. In some broiler flocks APEC outbreaks caused as much as 11% mortality. Flocks were treated with antimicrobials, but very often with limited success. This situation called for special attention and further studies were focused on virulence factors of E. coli strains and the detection of antimicrobial susceptibility of isolates. Beside this, possible sources of infection with resistant strains were investigated having in mind possible transition of resistance strains to humans through contaminated meat or via environmental contamination.