APEC-Seq - 

Avian pathogenic E. coli in Norwegian broiler production - characterisation, identification of risk factors and prevention

The research project APEC-Seq aims to reduce the overall occurrence of colibacillosis in broilers and increase research-based knowledge regarding pathogenic E. coli in poultry.

The Norwegian poultry industry is aiming to reduce first-week mortality (FWM) in broilers to a level below 0.8 %. The first week of life is a critical phase for broilers, and both Norway and other European countries, have experienced periods of increased FWM due to E. coli infections (colibacillosis) during the last years.

The research project APEC-Seq (sequencing of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia Coli) aims to reduce the overall occurrence of colibacillosis in broilers through a close collaboration between the poultry industry and scientists working with animal health, bacteriology and epidemiology. Through systematic sampling in flocks with high FWM, APEC-Seq aims to characterize and compare E. coli causing disease in poultry by whole genome sequencing. By combining these data with production-, management- and environmental data we want to identify potential risk factors for disease, as well as increase the research-based knowledge on E. coli causing disease in poultry – how similar are these bacteria really; can we isolate them from both grandparent, parent and production animals (breeding pyramid); which parameters in the broiler environment are risk factors for disease.

Results will be used to develop a framework for monitoring infections with E. coli in broilers, i.e. identification of bacterial strains with strong disease-inducing properties in an early phase and implementation of best practice guidelines for prevention of colibacillosis in broiler production. APEC-Seq will have a significant impact on animal health and welfare, enable sustainable and cost-effective food production and increase consumer confidence in poultry meat.

Project manager 

Camilla Sekse


  • The Norwegian Poultry Industry
  • Norwegian University of Life Science, DTU Vet (Denmark), The Roslin Institute & Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), University of Münster (Germany), University of Prince Edward Island (Canada)
Funded by the research funds for agriculture and food industry
Research Areas
Bacteriology, Bioinformatics, Epidemiology, Animal health


Camilla Sekse

Mobilnr: +47 92456888
E-post: camilla.sekse@vetinst.no

Siri Kulberg Sjurseth

Seniorforsker - fagansvarlig fjørfehelse
Mobilnr: +47 93030156
E-post: Siri.Kulberg.Sjurseth@vetinst.no

Malin Jonsson

Mobilnr: +47 93086902
E-post: malin.jonsson@vetinst.no