02264-A: Role of E. Coli Biofilm in Canine Pyometra

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $14,731
Marco A Coutinho da Silva, DVM, PhD; Ohio State University
May 1, 2016 - February 28, 2018

Sponsor(s): Collie Health Foundation, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Reproductive Conditions
Donate to Support this Research Program Area


Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the canine uterus by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli). In humans with recurrent infections, E. coli produces biofilm, a layer of polysaccharide that protects the organism from the host immune system as well as antibiotic agents, decreasing treatment efficacy. Current treatments for pyometra are costly, time-consuming, and not without risk to the bitch. We postulate that biofilm production by E.coli within the endometrium of the bitch may be responsible for perpetuating the disease and making treatment difficult. However, biofilm production by E. coli involved in canine pyometra has not been studied. In this pilot study, the potential of E. coli obtained from clinical cases of canine pyometra to produce biofilm will be evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Endometrial samples from clinical cases of pyometra procured from multiple collaborating private practitioners throughout the country will be evaluated for the presence of biofilm in situ, as well as the ability of the isolated bacteria to produce biofilm in vitro. If successful, demonstration of the presence of biofilm in the endometrium of bitches affected by pyometra could lead to development of new therapeutics targeted at the disruption of biofilm, and resulting in improved treatment for canine pyometra.


Fiamengo, T. E., Runcan, E. E., Premanandan, C., Blawut, B., & Coutinho da Silva, M. A. (2020). Evaluation of biofilm production by Escherichia coli isolated from clinical cases of canine pyometra. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 100429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcam.2020.100429

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.