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Fatal pneumonia caused by Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) in a juvenile cat recovered from an animal hoarding incident

Veterinary Microbiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.08.015
  • Expec
  • Pneumonia
  • Cats
  • Hoarding
  • Medicine


Abstract The current study describes isolation of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) from a juvenile male cat that died after being rescued from an animal hoarding incident. Grossly, there was evidence of pneumonia and renal abscessation. Histologically, there was diffuse interstitial pneumonia with necrosis and necrotizing and suppurative nephritis with colonies of coccobacilli. Within the lung, kidney, and mesentery there was necrotizing and suppurative vasculitis with thrombosis and coccobacilli. E. coli strain belonging to serotype O6:H1 that carried many of the virulence genes associated with ExPEC was isolated from the lung and kidney. The cat was part of a community of approximately 60 cats that lived in a house in a residential neighborhood, in which multiple cats had died. The case was of major significance to public health, as first responders, animal health professionals, and other community members were likely exposed to ExPEC, which is known to have zoonotic potential. It is important that pet owners, animal health and public health professionals, and first responders be made aware of the potential for zoonotic diseases.

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