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Genetic relatedness of Brucella suis biovar 2 isolates from hares, wild boars and domestic pigs

Kreizinger, Zsuzsa, Foster, Jeffrey T., Rónai, Zsuzsanna, Sulyok, Kinga M., Wehmann, Enikő, Jánosi, Szilárd, Gyuranecz, Miklós
Veterinary microbiology 2014 v.172 no.3-4 pp. 492-498
Brucella melitensis biovar Suis, Lepus, Sus scrofa, boars, brucellosis, epidemiological studies, genetic relationships, genetic variation, genotype, hares, multiple-locus variable number tandem-repeat analysis, pork industry, provenance, reproductive disorders, wild boars, Hungary
Porcine brucellosis generally manifests as disorders in reproductive organs potentially leading to serious losses in the swine industry. Brucella suis biovar 2 is endemic in European wild boar (Sus scrofa) and hare (Lepus europeus, Lepus capensis) populations, thus these species may play a significant role in disease spread and serve as potential sources of infection for domestic pigs. The aim of this study was an epidemiologic analysis of porcine brucellosis in Hungary and a comparative analysis of B. suis bv. 2 strains from Europe using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). MLVA-16 and its MLVA-11 subset were used to determine the genotypes of 68 B. suis bv. 2 isolates from Hungary and results were then compared to European MLVA genotypes. The analyses indicated relatively high genetic diversity of B. suis bv. 2 in Hungary. Strains isolated from hares and wild boars from Hungary showed substantial genetic divergence, suggesting separate lineages in each host and no instances of cross species infections. The closest relatives of strains from Hungarian wild boars and domestic pigs were mainly in the isolates from German and Croatian boars and pigs. The assessment of the European MLVA genotypes of wild boar isolates generally showed clustering based on geographic origin. The hare strains were relatively closely related to one another and did not cluster based on geographic origin. The limited relationships between geographic origin and genotype in isolates from hares might be the result of cross-border live animal translocation. The results could also suggest that certain B. suis strains are more adapted to hares. Across Europe, isolates from domestic pigs were closely related to isolates originating from both hares and wild boars, supporting the idea that wild animals are a source of brucellosis in domestic pigs.