Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing of Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus isolated from sheep abortions in New Zealand

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing of Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus isolated from sheep abortions in New Zealand
Peer reviewed

Abstract

AIMS: To genotype Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus isolates cultured from sheep abortions submitted to diagnostic laboratories in New Zealand during the year 2000 breeding season. To compare the types found nationally with those found in the Hawke’s Bay region in 1999, and strains held in the New Zealand Reference Culture Collection, Medical Section (NZRM) from a study published in 1987.
METHODS: Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus isolates cultured by veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the year 2000 breeding season, from sheep abortions from throughout New Zealand, were typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In addition, seven freeze-dried C. fetus subsp. fetus isolates (strain numbers 2939–2945) from the NZRM, representing restriction types a–g found amongst sheep abortion isolates in a study published in 1987, were typed using PFGE.
RESULTS: In total, 293 C. fetus subsp. fetus isolates from 200 farms were obtained from veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Twenty-two distinct PFGE profiles were identified amongst the isolates. PFGE type B1 was predominant in each region of New Zealand and was identified from 66% of farms overall. Of the C. fetus subsp. fetus restriction types a–g lodged with the NZRM, 3/7 had PFGE profiles indistinguishable from profiles found in the current study. The other four restriction types had PFGE profiles that were unique but similar to those found in the current study.
CONCLUSIONS: PFGE type B1 was predominant amongst the C. fetus subsp. fetus isolates cultured from sheep abortions in each region of New Zealand in the year 2000, as was found in Hawke’s Bay in 1999. The similarity between PFGE profiles of C. fetus subsp. fetus sheep abortion isolates from 1987 and 2000, and the relative prevalence of the PFGE groups, suggests that there has been no major genotypic shift in the population of C. fetus subsp. fetus implicated in sheep abortion in New Zealand during this time.
KEY WORDS: Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus, sheep, ovine, abortion, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PFGE

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