Scientists have determined how harmless E. coli gut bacteria in chickens can pick up the genes required to evolve and cause infections in poultry and people.

Colibacillosis caused by avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) is the most common infection in chickens reared for meat or eggs. It is fatal in up to 20 percent of cases and causes multi-million pound losses in the poultry industry. Other problems include increasing antibiotic resistance and the risk of human infections, according to the research report.


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