Analysis of Serpulina hyodysenteriae strain variation and its molecular epidemiology using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Journal / PublicationEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number1
Online published1 Aug 1999
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes


Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was applied as a molecular typing tool for the spirochaete Serpulina hyodysenteriae, the agent of swine dysentery. Analysis of a collection of 40 mainly Australian isolates, previously characterized by other methods, divided these into 23 PFGE types. This confirmed that there are many strains of the spirochaete in Australia. PFGE was more discriminatory for strain typing than both multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and serotyping. It had similar discriminatory power to restriction endonuclease analysis, but the results of PFGE were easier to interpret. When applied to 29 isolates collected from 4 farms over periods of up to 8 years, 2 PFGE patterns were found on 3 farms, and a single pattern on the other. In each case a new strain had apparently emerged as a variant of an original parent strain. PFGE was found to be a powerful technique for investigating the molecular epidemiology of swine dysentery outbreaks.

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