Prevalence of Serpulina species in relation to diarrhea and feed medication in pig-rearing herds in Sweden

Dr Claes Fellström From the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Fellström), and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture (Lundeheim), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute (Johansson, Gunnarsson), Uppsala, and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (Pettersson) Sweden.

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Bertil Pettersson From the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Fellström), and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture (Lundeheim), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute (Johansson, Gunnarsson), Uppsala, and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (Pettersson) Sweden.

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Karl-Erik Johansson From the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Fellström), and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture (Lundeheim), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute (Johansson, Gunnarsson), Uppsala, and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (Pettersson) Sweden.

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Dr Nils Lundeheim From the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Fellström), and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture (Lundeheim), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute (Johansson, Gunnarsson), Uppsala, and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (Pettersson) Sweden.

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Dr Anders Gunnarsson From the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Fellström), and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture (Lundeheim), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Department of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute (Johansson, Gunnarsson), Uppsala, and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (Pettersson) Sweden.

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Abstract

Objective

To determine prevalence of various pheno- and genotypes of Serpulina sp in young pigs in relation to diarrhea and feed medication in Swedish pig-rearing herds.

Design

Isolation of spirochetes. Phenotypical and genotypical classification.

Sample Population

Young pigs (n = 358) in 19 pig-rearing herds.

Procedure

Serpulina isolates were classified according to a biochemical scheme based on hemolysis, indole production, hippurate hydrolysis, and α-galactosidase, α-glucosidase, and β-glucosidase activities. The 16S rRNA sequences for 10 of the field strains and 2 type strains of Serpulina spp were aligned and compared. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of olaquindox for 9 of the strains were determined.

Results

Weakly β-hemolytic intestinal spirochetes (WBHIS) were isolated from 17 of the herds and 65% of the samples. More than 1 phenotype of WBHIS was found in 12 of the 19 herds. S hyodysenteriae was not isolated in any of the herds. Hippurate-positive WBHIS were isolated in 6 of 7 herds affected by diarrhea, but in only 1 of 8 herds without diarrhea. Hippurate-positive strains were closely related to the pathogenic strain P43 if judged from sequence comparisons. Strains with the same biochemical profile isolated within a herd had identical sequences, but when isolated from different herds, sequence differences were observed. The prevalence of WBHIS was reduced in herds medicated with olaquindox. Investigated field strains had minimum inhibitory concentration values ≤ 1 μg/ml for olaquindox.

Conclusion

The presence of WBHIS, with the ability to hydrolyze hippurate, was related to diarrhea in pig herds.

Clinical Relevance

Potentially pathogenic WBHIS can be distinguished from nonpathogenic strains by the hippurate hydrolysis test. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:807–811)

Abstract

Objective

To determine prevalence of various pheno- and genotypes of Serpulina sp in young pigs in relation to diarrhea and feed medication in Swedish pig-rearing herds.

Design

Isolation of spirochetes. Phenotypical and genotypical classification.

Sample Population

Young pigs (n = 358) in 19 pig-rearing herds.

Procedure

Serpulina isolates were classified according to a biochemical scheme based on hemolysis, indole production, hippurate hydrolysis, and α-galactosidase, α-glucosidase, and β-glucosidase activities. The 16S rRNA sequences for 10 of the field strains and 2 type strains of Serpulina spp were aligned and compared. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of olaquindox for 9 of the strains were determined.

Results

Weakly β-hemolytic intestinal spirochetes (WBHIS) were isolated from 17 of the herds and 65% of the samples. More than 1 phenotype of WBHIS was found in 12 of the 19 herds. S hyodysenteriae was not isolated in any of the herds. Hippurate-positive WBHIS were isolated in 6 of 7 herds affected by diarrhea, but in only 1 of 8 herds without diarrhea. Hippurate-positive strains were closely related to the pathogenic strain P43 if judged from sequence comparisons. Strains with the same biochemical profile isolated within a herd had identical sequences, but when isolated from different herds, sequence differences were observed. The prevalence of WBHIS was reduced in herds medicated with olaquindox. Investigated field strains had minimum inhibitory concentration values ≤ 1 μg/ml for olaquindox.

Conclusion

The presence of WBHIS, with the ability to hydrolyze hippurate, was related to diarrhea in pig herds.

Clinical Relevance

Potentially pathogenic WBHIS can be distinguished from nonpathogenic strains by the hippurate hydrolysis test. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:807–811)

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