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  • Author or Editor: Tohru Higuchi x
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Objective—To develop a method for typing Streptococcus equi on the basis of the DNA sequence of the genes that produce an M-like protein and to compare isolates among the United States, Japan, and other countries.

Sample PopulationS equi strains CF32, Hidaka/95/2, and NCTC9682 as well as 82 other isolates from the United States, Japan, and other countries obtained during 1975 to 2001.

Procedure—DNA sequences of the structural genes ( SeM and SzPSe) that produce M-like proteins were determined for 3 representative strains to find a variable region. Variability in this region of SeM was then determined for the other isolates. Amino acid sequences were deduced and analyzed phylogenetically by use of the neighbor-joining method.

Results—Sequence diversity was detected in the N-terminal region of SeM but not in SzPSe of the 3 representative strains. Base substitutions in the variable region of SeM varied in a nonsynonymous manner, resulting in variation in the amino acid sequence. Eighty-five isolates were categorized as 32 types of SeM on the basis of differences in the deduced amino acid sequences.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study documented a region in the N-terminal portion of SeM that varies in a nonsynonymous manner. This information should be useful in molecular epidemiologic studies of S equi. (Am J Vet Res 2005; 66:2167–2171)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis for molecular typing of strains of Streptococcus zooepidemicus and to use the new typing method to analyze a collection of isolates from the respiratory tract of Thoroughbreds.

Sample Population—10 strains of S zooepidemicus, 65 isolates from the respiratory tract of 9 yearlings following long distance transportation, and 89 isolates from tracheal aspirates of 20 foals with pneumonia.

Procedure—Phenotypic variations in the SzP protein were detected by western immunoblot analysis. Using PCR-RFLP analysis, genotypes were obtained with primer sets from the SzP gene, followed by restriction endonuclease digestion of the amplicons.

Results—Unique genotypic patterns were obtained with a primer set designed from both ends of the structural gene and the restriction endonuclease Dde I. Forty-five isolates from the lymphoid tissue within the pharyngeal recess (ie, pharyngeal tonsil) of yearlings included 10 SzP genotypes and SzP phenotypes. Isolates from the trachea of each yearling were of a single genotype that was also present among isolates from the pharyngeal tonsil of the same horses. Isolates from tracheal aspirates of foals belonged to 14 genotypes.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of the SzP gene by use of PCR-RFLP was effective for molecular typing of strains of S zooepidemicus in the study of respiratory tract disease in horses. Results of PCR-RFLP analysis indicate that a single strain of S zooepidemicus can migrate from the pharyngeal tonsil to the trachea at a high rate in horses undergoing long distance transportation. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1298–1301)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To evaluate results of physical and serologic examinations of foals at 30 and 45 days of age on 3 types of farms with various prevalences of clinical disease (endemic, sporadic, none) caused by Rhodococcus equi and to determine whether evaluations were helpful in early diagnosis and control of the disease.


Prospective cohort study.


144 foals at 30 and 45 days of age.


During a 2-year period, 36 foals on farms at which R equi infection was endemic, 71 foals on farms at which the disease was sporadically detected, and 37 foals on farms without the disease were examined by means of auscultation of lungs, serum biochemical and hematologic analyses, and determination of antibody titers against R equi, using ELISA. Transtracheal aspirates were obtained from 14 of 32 foals that had clinical signs of disease and 7 of 41 seropositive foals that did not have clinical signs of disease.


Prevalences of respiratory tract disease and seropositive conversion rates for 45-day-old foals on endemically and sporadically infected farms were significantly higher than on farms without the disease. Rhodococcus equi was isolated from tracheal aspirates of seropositive foals, even when clinical signs were not evident.

Clinical Implications

Physical and serologic examinations of foals at 30 and 45 days of age were useful for early diagnosis of R equi infection, especially for foals on farms at which the disease was endemic. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:976–981)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association