The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of Escherichia fergusonii in dairy cattle with clinical signs of diarrhoea. The specimens were obtained from three different farms in Denizli province of Turkey, between August 2016 and December 2016. Rectal contents of 57 Holstein-friesian dairy cattle with diarrhoea were collected from farms located in the Aegean Region (Denizli province, Turkey). Rectal swabs were inoculated into enrichment, differential and selective culture media. A total of 49 (86%) Escherichia spp. were isolated by phenotypic identification from 57 rectal swab samples. Presumptive E. fergusonii isolates were tested with the API 20E identification kit and all isolates (100%) were identified as E. coli. Primers targeting specific E. coli and E. fergusonii and genes, including the beta-glucuronidase enzyme, conserved hypothetical cellulose synthase protein and regulator of cellulose synthase and hypothetical protein, putative transcriptional activator for multiple antibiotic resistance were used for detection and differentiation of E. coli and E. fergusonii. Thirteen of the 49 E. coli-verified isolates were identified as E. fergusonii after duplex PCR using EFER 13- and EFER YP-specific primers. Confirmation of strain identity was conducted using Sanger sequencing analysis. The rates of antibiotic resistance of E. fergusonii to penicillin G and erythromycin were 100% and 77%, respectively. In conclusion, field strains of E. fergusonii were detected in cattle with diarrhoea in Turkey, and the strains were found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics.
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