Pathogenesis and Control of Enterococcus cecorum (Broiler)


Pathogenic strains of Enterococcus cecorum emerged almost 20 years ago and have now spread across the globe. This talk will provide our current understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, genetic drivers of virulence, and control of this important pathogen of broilers.


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Luke Borst, DVM, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Anatomic Pathology, North Carolina State University

Dr. Luke Borst is a board certified veterinary pathologist with a PhD in microbial pathogenesis from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Borst joined the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University in 2009 where he performs diagnostic service, teaching, and research. Dr. Borst is the residency coordinator for the combined Poultry Pathology program through which students can gain eligibility for board certification by both American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) and American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV).

Dr. Borst’s research interests are in the host and bacterial pathogen interactions that contribute to clinical disease in poultry.  His group studies emerging pathogenic strains of Enterococcus cecorum, the cause of ‘kinky back’ in chickens. Through study of natural and experimental infection, Dr. Borst’s laboratory identified potential virulence mechanisms conserved in pathogenic strains and host factors that predispose individuals to infection.  The goal of these studies is to better understand the natural host-pathogen relationship between broiler chickens and pathogenic E. cecorum, and use that information to design effective control measures for enterococcal infections, with dual benefit to human and animal health.  In addition, Dr. Borst’s group is studying the complex interactions of gut microbiota with a particular focus on the synergistic effects between Avian Pathogenic E. coli and Enterococcus spp. during polymicrobial infection.

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