ISSN 2398-2969      

Colibacillosis

Clapis

Introduction

  • Escherichia coli Escherichia coli is not a normal component of the gastrointestinal system in rabbits <2 weeks of age.
  • In rabbits >2 weeks of age small amounts of E. coli can be present in the cecum. The population of E. coli may rise in direct proportion to a falling fiber content of the diet.
  • Non-pathogenic E. coli can be isolated from any rabbit >2 weeks of age, and culture of fecal samples should be interpreted with care.
  • Common strain of E. coli found in ill rabbits is enteropathogenic, attaching and effacing. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli, which produce shiga toxics, are less common.
  • Colibacillosis may be associated with enteropathogenic strains of E. coli that are not normal gut commensals. This strain is attaching and effacing - bacteria attach to the enterocyte wall. Diarrhea from any cause is often associated with an increase in the number of E. coli.
  • Colibacillosis is more common in the commercial rabbit industry than in pet rabbits.
  • Colibacillosis can be associated with an increased intestinal secretion and hypermotility.
  • Serotyping of rabbit E. coli is not yet available for the general practitioner, but it can be performed by Research or University institutes.
  • Signs: variable (wasting, diarrhea, sepsis), depending on strain involved.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, bacteriology (+ serotyping), postmortem examination findings.
  • Treatment: antibiotic therapy, fluid therapy, supportive care, assisted feeding.
  • Prognosis: guarded to poor.

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Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide.

Age predisposition

  • Young animals.

Gender predisposition

  • None.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • ladl A H, Farag V M, El-Shafei R A et al (2019) Effect of colibacillosis on the immune response to a rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease vaccine. Vet Microbiol 238, 108429 PubMed.
  • Agnoletti F, Brunetta R, Bano L et al (2018) Longitudinal study on antimicrobial consumption and resistance in rabbit farming. Int J Antimicrob Agents 51 (2), 197-205 PubMed.
  • Saravia M, Segovia C, Valderrama K & Santander J (2017) Colibacillosis in a New Zealand white rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). J Infect Dev Ctries 11 (2), 203-206 PubMed.
  • Lord B (2012) Gastrointestinal disease in rabbits 2. Intestinal diseases. In Pract 34 (3), 156-162 VetMedResource.
  • Gidenne T (2000) Recent advances in rabbit nutrition: emphasis on fibre requirements. A review. World Rabbit Sci 8 (1), 23-32 CABI.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.
  • Clipsham R C (1989) Medical care of the pet rabbit. Calif Vet 43 (5), 12-16.

Other sources of information

  • Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W (2021) Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents. Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Elsevier, USA.
  • Richardson V (2000) Rabbits, Health, Husbandry and Disease. Blackwell Science Ltd, UK.
  • Harkness J E & Wagner J E (1989) The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. Lea & Febiger, USA.

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