a1 School of Veterinary Studies, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, 6150
a2 Regional Veterinary Laboratory, Department of Food and Agriculture, Bendigo, Victoria, 3550, Australia
A total of 79 Australian isolates of beta-haemolytic Escherichia coli from cases of porcine postweaning diarrhoea (PWD), and 18 isolates of serotype O 149:K91:K88 (F4) from unweaned pigs from Australia, Indonesia and Denmark, were examined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. These were divided into 57 electrophoretic types (ETs), with an overall mean genetic diversity per enzyme locus of 0·466. This value closely resembled that previously recorded for the whole species. Not only was the collection diverse, but there was considerable genetic heterogeneity amongst PWD isolates of the same serogroup. Isolates from serogroups O 8 and O 138 were most varied, whilst many from serogroups O 141 and O 149 were more closely related. In contrast, the isolates from the unweaned pigs all belonged to only one ET.
(Accepted January 14 1993)