A panel of monoclonal antibodies against fimbrial adhesins of porcine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli were evaluated for the detection of enteric colibacillosis in paraffin-wax embedded sections of piglet small intestine. Using the immunoperoxidase technique, monoclonal antibodies were used to detect epitopes on the K99 adhesin and on the a and c regions of the K88 adhesin. However, monoclonal antibodies to the F41 and 987P adhesins failed to react in sections with organisms colonising the intestine of gnotobiotic piglets monoinfected with strains bearing those adhesins, whereas corresponding polyclonal antisera gave positive results. In contrast to apparent expression of all K99 organisms, only a proportion of organisms were identified by monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies as expressing K88. In some instances, failure of immunostaining was attributed to prolonged storage of tissue in formalin.
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