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Molecular characterization of Rhodococcus equi isolates from horses in Poland: pVapA characteristics and plasmid new variant, 85-kb type V

Witkowski, Lucjan, Rzewuska, Magdalena, Takai, Shinji, Chrobak-Chmiel, Dorota, Kizerwetter-Świda, Magdalena, Feret, Małgorzata, Gawryś, Marta, Witkowski, Maciej, Kita, Jerzy
BMC veterinary research 2016 v.13 no.1 pp. 35
Rhodococcus equi, farms, foals, genetic variation, genotyping, livestock breeding, necropsy, pathogens, plasmids, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, Poland, United States
BACKGROUND: Rhodococcus equi is one of the most significant bacterial pathogens affecting foals up to 6 months of age worldwide. Rhodococcosis is present in Poland however information about molecular characterization of R. equi isolates is scarce. This study describes molecular characterization of Rhodococcus equi infection on 13 horse breeding farms in Poland between 2001 and 2012. Samples were collected by tracheobronchial aspiration from pneumonic foals or during necropsy. The R. equi isolates were genotyped by plasmid profiling and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. RESULTS: Totally, 58 R. equi isolates were investigated. One isolate lost its plasmid. Among the 57 VapA-positive isolates, 48 contained 85-kb type I plasmid (82.8%), 8 contained 87-kb type I plasmid (13.8%). One isolate (1.7%) had a unique restriction cleavage pattern and the 2nd fragment of EcoRI digests of this plasmid DNA was about 2600 bases smaller than that of the 85 kb type I. This new plasmid variant was designated as the “85-kb type V”. Among the 58 isolates typeable with VspI-PFGE, ten PFGE clusters were detected. The majority of foals were infected mostly with isolates of low genetic diversity. CONCLUSIONS: Most of clinical isolates of R. equi from foals in Poland contain pVapA 85-kb type I and 87-kb type I similarly to the other European countries and the United States. However, the new variant of pVapA 85-kb type V was identified. The chromosomal variability was detected among some of the investigated isolates and the presence of farm-specific isolates might be possible.