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Isolation and partial characterization of Streptococcus suis from clinical cases in cattle

Okwumabua, Ogi, Peterson, Hanna, Hsu, Hui-Min, Bochsler, Phil, Behr, Melissa
Streptococcus suis, ampicillin, arginine deiminase, bacteria, bronchopneumonia, calves, chlortetracycline, clindamycin, enrofloxacin, florfenicol, genes, gentamicin, heart, hepatitis, inflammation, intestines, liver, lungs, lymph nodes, meninges, meningitis, multiple drug resistance, neomycin, oxytetracycline, pathogenicity islands, pathogens, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, ribosomal DNA, sequence analysis, spectinomycin, spleen, sulfadimethoxine, tiamulin
Sixteen isolates of gram-positive, coccoid bacteria were obtained from clinical cases of diverse conditions in cattle and identified as Streptococcus suis using 16S ribosomal DNA gene sequencing and other bacterial identification methods. None of the isolates could be assigned to any of the known S. suis capsular types. Virulence-associated gene profiling that targeted muramidase-released protein, extracellular protein factor, suilysin, 89-kb pathogenicity island, and arginine deiminase (arcA) genes were negative except for 1 isolate that was arcA positive. The arcA-positive isolate caused severe widespread lesions, including multiorgan suppurative and hemorrhagic inflammation in the meninges, lung, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and serosae of heart and intestines. The other isolates were primarily associated with meningitis, bronchopneumonia, and multifocal acute necrotizing hepatitis. The isolates differed from each other by 4–6 fragments when examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, indicating they are possibly related. The isolates were susceptible to ampicillin, penicillin, and tiamulin. Resistance was noted to sulfadimethoxine (93%), oxytetracycline (86%), chlortetracycline (86%), neomycin (67%), tilmicosin (47%), clindamycin (47%), enrofloxacin (33%), gentamicin (13%), florfenicol (7%), trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (7%), and spectinomycin (53%). Multi-drug resistance (defined as resistance to at least 1 agent in 3 or more antimicrobial classes) was detected in 67% of the isolates. The pathology observations provide evidence that S. suis may be an important pathogen of bovine calves. S. suis is an agent that clinical bacteriology laboratories should consider when dealing with cases involving cattle.