Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are pathogens involved in several disease conditions, ranging from urinary tract infection to meningitis in humans and animals. They comprise epidemiologically and phylogenetically distinct strains, affecting most species and involving any organ or anatomical site. Here, we report fatal cases of necrotizing pneumonia in cats. Over a 1-week period, 13 cats from an animal shelter in Stamford, Connecticut were presented for necropsy. All had a clinical history of acute respiratory disease. The gross and microscopic findings for all the cats were consistent. Escherichia coli was uniformly isolated from the lungs of all the tested cats. All the isolates were haemolytic, genetically related as determined by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR, and harboured genes encoding for cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 and fimbriae and adhesions that are characteristic of ExPEC, implying a point source clonal outbreak. As cats are common household pets, this report raises concerns regarding zoonotic potential (in either direction) for these ExPEC strains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases