Thirty Escherichia coli isolates from captive and free-living pigeons in Brazil were characterised. Virulence-associated genes identified in pigeons included those which occur relatively frequently in avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) from commercial poultry worldwide. Eleven of 30 E. coli isolates from pigeons, belonging mainly to B1 and B2 phylogenetic groups, had high or intermediate pathogenicity for 1-day-old chicks. The frequency of multi-drug resistant (MDR) E. coli in captive pigeons was relatively high and included one isolate positive for the extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene blaCTX-M-8. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) showed high heterogeneity among isolates. There is potential for pigeons to transmit antibiotic resistant pathogenic E. coli to other species through environmental contamination or direct contact.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- General Veterinary