Edema disease as a model for systemic disease induced by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Academic Article uri icon


  • Edema disease (ED) is a naturally occurring disease of weaned pigs caused by host adapted strains of E. coli that produce Shiga toxin (STEC). We determined the temporal and quantitative relationships between intestinal colonization by STEC, levels of Shiga toxin (Stx2e) in the gut, in the blood, and clinical manifestations of ED. Bacterial colonization (10(8) CFU/cm ileum) was highest 4 days post inoculation (pi) in animals that did not develop clinical disease and 6 days pi in animals with clinical signs of ED. The mean time for the development of clinical signs of ED was 6 days pi (range 4-10). Average peak titers of Stx2e in the ileum were 1:16,384 in asymptomatic animals and 1:32,768 in clinical animals. Titers of Stx2e in the feces reflected the toxin titers in the ileum but were lower. Intestinal titers of Stx2e and the density of bacterial colonization were predictive of clinical ED for a group of animals but not for individuals. Approximately 50% of the pigs that had Stx2e titers of > or = 1:4096 and a bacterial density of > or = 10(6) CFU/cm in their ileum, had clinical ED. Pigs that had intestinal Stx2e titers < 1:4096 were asymptomatic. Stx2e was detected in the red cell fraction of blood from some of the pigs with clinical ED and in some that were asymptomatic. Stx2e was not detected in the serum of any animals. ED may be a useful model for predicting the temporal and quantitative relationships between bacterial colonization, Stx levels in the gut and blood and systemic disease for STEC in other species.

published proceedings

  • Adv Exp Med Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Cornick, N. A., Matise, I., Samuel, J. E., Bosworth, B. T., & Moon, H. W.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Cornick, NA||Matise, I||Samuel, JE||Bosworth, BT||Moon, HW

publication date

  • January 1999