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1. Introduction
2. Etiology
3. Epidemiology
Distribution and prevalence
Risk factors
Protective factors
4. Pathogenesis
Virulence factors
5. Clinical signs and lesions
Omphalitis/yolk sac infection
Swollen head syndrome
Diarrheal disease
Venereal colibacillosis
Respiratory colisepticemia
Enteric origin colisepticemia
Hemorrhagic septicemia
Neonatal septicemia
Colisepticemia in layers and turkey breeders
Colisepticemia in ducks
Other lesions
6. Diagnosis
7. Control
Acting on risk factors
Sanitation and other biosecurity measures
Alternatives to antibiotics

This guide introduces the reader to the pathogenesis and epidemiology of colibacillosis in poultry, the virulence of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli, and the various disease syndromes of colibacillosis with photographic examples; and discusses the diagnosis of disease and potential control measures that can be implemented at the farm and flock level.

• Catherine M. Logue
Dr. Logue received her PhD from the University of Ulster, United Kingdom, specializing in meat microbiology. From 1999 to 2011, she was a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences at North Dakota State University, rising through the ranks to full professor. In 2011, she joined Iowa State University as a professor of microbiology in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine. In 2017, she joined the University of Georgia as a professor of microbiology in the Department of Population Health.
Dr. Logue specializes in the detection and characterization of foodborne pathogens from food animal sources and antimicrobial resistance of these organisms and has extensive research programs in pathogens of human and animal health. She has published more than 100 research articles, book chapters, and reviews.
• Nicolle L. Barbieri
Dr. Barbieri received her PhD in cell and molecular biology, specializing in molecular microbiology, from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Barbieri is specialized in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), which encompass avian pathogenic, uropathogenic, and neonatal meningitis E. coli. She has been studying their characteristics, virulence gene prevalence, drug resistance, and role in pathogenesis by using molecular biology tools to elucidate the relationship with their host. She has published more than 20 research articles and book chapters. Currently, her research focuses on antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors in ExPEC of poultry isolates and on investigating the molecular basis for biofilm formation as well as their relationship with human pathogens.
• Lisa K. Nolan
Dr. Nolan earned her DVM and PhD from the University of Georgia. Currently, she is the Georgia Athletics Association distinguished professor and dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining UGA, she served as chair of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She was also the founding director of the Great Plains Institute of Food Safety at North Dakota State University.
Dr. Nolan has received several honors over the course of her career, including being named a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and an honorary diplomate of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society.
Her research focuses on bacterial diseases that impact animal health, human health, and food safety. In particular, her primary focus has been on the Escherichia coli that cause avian colibacillosis and human urinary tract infections and neonatal meningitis.
• Luke B. Borst
Dr. Borst received his DVM from the University of Illinois and is a board-certified veterinary pathologist with a PhD in microbial pathogenesis from the same university. In 2009, he joined North Carolina State University as an assistant professor and, in 2016, he was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology. He divides his time performing diagnostic necropsy and histopathology service, teaching veterinary students, residents, and veterinarians, and cultivating a thriving research program.
Dr. Borst’s research seeks to understand how host and bacterial interactions contribute to clinical disease in poultry. He has published more than 70 research articles, book chapters, and reviews. His laboratory studies the molecular basis for virulence in emerging pathogenic strains of Enterococcus cecorum, the cause of “kinky back” in chickens, and the complex interactions of avian pathogenic E. coli and Enterococcus spp. during extraintestinal infection.
• Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt
Dr. Vaillancourt received his DMV from the University of Montreal, Canada, and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He is currently a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal. He has held faculty positions at the University of Guelph, Canada, and North Carolina State University.
Dr. Vaillancourt has authored numerous publications including peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books. In 1997, he received the Bayer-Snoeyenbos New Investigator Award from the American Association of Avian Pathologists and, in 2004, he received The Lamplighter Award from the US Poultry & Egg Association for his contributions on infectious disease research and biosecurity. In 2019, the French government made him Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit. He has served as director of the Epidemiology of Zoonoses and Public Health Research Unit and as associate director of the Public Health Research Institute of the University of Montreal.