Genome sequencing and antimicrobial susceptibilities of Escherichia coli isolated from clinical cases of canine pyometra

Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the canine uterus by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli). In humans with recurrent infections, E. coli produces biofilm, a layer of polysaccharide that protects the organism from the host immune system as well as antibiotic agents, decreasing treatment efficacy. Current treatments for pyometra are costly, time-consuming, and not without risk to the bitch.

The investigators postulate that biofilm production by E.coli within the uterine lining may be responsible for perpetuating the disease and making treatment difficult. In previous CHF-funded study, the investigators were able to prove that E. coli from clinical cases of canine pyometra is capable of producing biofilm both in the uterus and in laboratory settings.

The purpose of this study is to characterize the presence of ten different genes associated with biofilm production and disease-contributing factors of E. coli organisms to determine if there is an association with those strains of E. coli that produce biofilm and certain disease factors found in other strains of E. coli. Disease factor genes and resistance patterns will be identified, and may serve as targets for new therapeutics directed at the disruption of biofilm in an effort to shorten the duration of treatment of pyometra.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 02512-A


Erin E Runcan, DVM
Ohio State University
Amount: $2,000