In vitro Behavior of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Increasing Copper Concentrations.

  • Guillermo Barreto Argilagos Faculty of Industry Applied Sciences, Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz University of Camagüey, Cuba.
  • Herlinda de la Caridad Rodríguez Torrens Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz University of Camagüey, Cuba.
  • Herlinda de la Caridad Barreto Rodríguez Carlos Juan Finlay Medical Sciences University, Camagüey, Cuba.
Palabras clave: antimicrobials, environment, growth promoters, swine, tolerance


Cupric sulfate is widely used as growth promoter for swine productions, in spite of its ecological risks. The aim of this paper was to study the in vitro behavior of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in increasing concentrations of copper. To achieve that, two reference strains: A-1 (O149: K91: K88ac) and E68-I (O141: K85: K88ab), were used with other four strains isolated from herds with colibacillosis. The reference strains were grown in Mueller-Hinton agar, according to the concentration gradient technique with weekly increasing values, from 5 to 50 mg/mL of CuSO4. The experiment lasted three weeks. Though in the initial contacts two wild strains were the best adapted, at the end all developed high tolerance to the metal. For A-1, it may be determined by the formation of biofilm, which, apart from the said resistance, is an important factor of virulence in infectious bacterial processes. The results observed are another element to add to the dangers of using these salts as growth promoters in swine productions.


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