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  • Author or Editor: Hui Liu x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate a hypervariable octameric oligonucleotide fingerprints (HOOF-Prints) assay for identification of and discrimination between wild-type and vaccine strains of Brucella melitensis.

SAMPLE Brucella melitensis vaccine strain M5 and wild-type strain M43.

PROCEDURES 8 pairs of primers (alterable, octameric nucleotides) were designed on the basis of a biological analysis of 8 flanking sequences in the DNA of B melitensis. The HOOF-Prints technique was used to identify wild-type and vaccine strains of B melitensis. Phylogenetic analysis of short, polymorphic fragments of DNA from B melitensis strains M5 and M43 was performed.

RESULTS Variable-number tandem repeat DNA segments of B melitensis vaccine strain M5 and wild-type strain M43 were successfully amplified by means of PCR assay. All target gene fragments ranged in size from 100 to 300 bp. Separate phylogenetic analysis of each Brucella strain revealed considerable differences between the vaccine and wild-type strains.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The results of this study suggested the HOOF-Prints assay may be useful for discriminating vaccine strains of B melitensis from wild-type strains. This ability could allow discrimination between animals that are seropositive because of vaccination against B melitensis and those that are seropositive because of B melitensis infection and could decrease the likelihood of importing Brucella-infected animals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether isolation and virulence of Rhodococcus equi from soil and infected foals are associated with clinical disease.

Design—Cross-sectional and case-control study.

Sample PopulationR equi isolates from 50 foals with pneumonia and soil samples from 33 farms with and 33 farms without a history of R equi infection (affected and control, respectively).

ProcedureR equi was selectively isolated from soil samples. Soil and clinical isolates were evaluated for virulence-associated protein antigen plasmids (VapAP) and resistance to the β-lactam antibiotics penicillin G and cephalothin. Microbiologic cultures and VapA-P assays were performed at 2 independent laboratories.

Results—VapA-P was detected in 49 of 50 (98%) clinical isolates; there was complete agreement between laboratories. Rhodococcus equi was isolated from soil on 28 of 33 (84.8%) affected farms and 24 of 33 (72.7%) control farms, but there was poor agreement between laboratories. Virulence-associated protein antigen plasmids were detected on 14 of 66 (21.2%) farms by either laboratory, but results agreed for only 1 of the 14 VapA-P-positive farms. We did not detect significant associations between disease status and isolation of R equi from soil, detection of VapA-P in soil isolates, or resistance of soil isolates to β-lactam antibiotics. No association between β-lactam antibiotic resistance and presence of VapA-P was detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of soil microbiologic culture and VapA-P assay results, it is not possible to determine whether foals on a given farm are at increased risk of developing disease caused by R equi. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:220–225)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



Orthohantaviruses (genus Orthohantavirus, family Hantaviridae of order Bunyavirales) are rodent-borne viruses causing 2 human diseases: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which are mainly prevalent in Eurasia and the Americas, respectively. We initiated this study to investigate and analyze the Orthohantaviruses infection in rodent reservoirs and humans in the Hubei Province of China from 1984 to 2010.


The study included 10,314 mouse and 43,753 human serum samples.


In this study, we analyzed the incidence of Orthohantavirus infection in humans and observed changes in rodent reservoirs in Hubei Province.


The results indicated that although the incidence of HFRS declined from the 1990s, the human inapparent infection did not decrease dramatically. Although elements of the disease ecology have changed over the study period, Apodemus agrarius and Rattus norvegicus remain the major species and a constituent ratio of Rattus norvegicus increased. Rodent population density fluctuated between 16.65% and 2.14%, and decreased quinquennially, showing an obvious downward trend in recent years. The average orthohantaviruses-carrying rate was 6.36%, of which the lowest rate was 2.92% from 2006 to 2010. The analysis of rodent species composition showed that Rattus norvegicus and Apodemus agrarius were the dominant species over time (68.6% [1984 to 1987] and 90.4% [2000 to 2011]), while the composition and variety of other species decreased. The density of rodents was closely related to the incidence of HFRS (r = 0.910, P = .032).


Our long-term investigation demonstrated that the occurrence of HFRS is closely related to rodent demographic patterns. Therefore, rodent monitoring and rodent control measures for prevention against HFRS in Hubei are warranted.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research