Efficacy of quorum sensing and growth inhibitors alone and in combination against avian pathogenic Escherichia coli infection in chickens

Yosra A. Helmy, Dipak Kathayat, Gary Closs, Katie Galgozy, James R. Fuchs, Gireesh Rajashekara

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1 Scopus citations


Avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC), a causative agent of colibacillosis, is associated with high mortality and morbidity which results in severe economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. APEC can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated poultry products. The limited effect of the current vaccines and the advent of drug-resistant strains have necessitated the development of alternative therapies. Previously, we identified 2 small molecules (SMs; [quorum sensing inhibitor; QSI-5] and [growth inhibitor; GI-7]) with high efficacy in vitro and in chickens subcutaneously challenged with APEC O78. Here, we optimized the oral challenge dose of APEC O78 in chickens to mimic the infection in the natural settings, evaluated the efficacy of the GI-7, QSI-5, and combination of GI-7 and QSI-5 (GI7+ QSI-5) in chickens orally infected with APEC, and compared their efficacy to sulfadimethoxine (SDM), an antibiotic currently used to treat APEC. Using the optimized dose of each SM in drinking water, GI-7, QSI-5, GI7+ QSI-5, and SDM were evaluated in chickens challenged with the optimized dose of APEC O78 (1 × 109 CFU/chicken; orally; d 2 of age) and grown on built-up floor litter. Reduction in mortality was 90, 80, 80, and 70% in QSI-5, GI-7+QSI-5, GI-7, and SDM treated groups compared to the positive control (PC), respectively. GI-7, QSI-5, GI-7+QSI-5, and SDM reduced the APEC load in the cecum by 2.2, 2.3, 1.6, and 0.6 logs and in the internal organs by 1.3, 1.2, 1.4, and 0.4 logs compared to PC (P < 0.05), respectively. The cumulative pathological lesions scores were 0.51, 0.24, 0.0, 0.53, and 1.53 in GI-7, QSI-5, GI-7+QSI-5, SDM, and PC groups, respectively. Overall, GI-7 and QSI-5 individually have promising effects as a potential antibiotic-independent approach to control APEC infections in chickens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102543
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 The Authors


  • APEC
  • field simulated conditions
  • growth inhibitor
  • oral challenge
  • quorum sensing inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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