Genetic and phenotypic characterization of intestinal spirochetes colonizing chickens and allocation of known pathogenic isolates to three distinct genetic groups

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-417
Journal / PublicationJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume35
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Infection with intestinal spirochetes has recently been recognized as a cause of lost production in the poultry industry. Little is known about these organisms, so a collection of 56 isolates originating from chickens in commercial flocks in Australia, the United States, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom was examined. Strength of β-hemolysis on blood agar, indole production, AP1 ZYM enzyme profiles, and cellular morphology were determined, and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to analyze the extent of genetic diversity among the isolates. The results were compared with those previously obtained for well-characterized porcine intestinal spirochetes. The chicken isolates were genetically heterogeneous. They were divided into 40 electrophoretic types distributed among six diverse genetic groups (groups b to g), with a mean genetic diversity of 0.587. Strains in two groups (groups d and e) may represent new species of Serpulina, and the groups contained only strains isolated from chickens. Three genetic groups contained isolates previously shown to be pathogenic for chickens. These corresponded to the proposed species "Serpulina intermedius," to an unnamed group (group e), and to Serpulina pilosicoli. Two of the chicken isolates (one "S. intermedius" and one S. pilosicoli isolate) were strongly β-hemolytic, two (both "S. intermedius") had an intermediate level of β-hemolysis, and the rest were weakly β-hemolytic. Fourteen isolates of "S. intermedius" produced indole, as did one isolate from group d. Isolates identified as S. pilosicoli resembled porcine isolates of this species, having four to six periplasmic flagella inserted subterminally in a single row at each end of the cell, and had tapered cell ends. All other spirochetes were morphologically similar, having seven or more periplasmic flagella and blunt cell ends. The identification of three genetic groups containing pathogenic isolates provides an opportunity fur more detailed epidemiologic studies with these pathogens and for the development of improved diagnostic tests.

Citation Format(s)

Genetic and phenotypic characterization of intestinal spirochetes colonizing chickens and allocation of known pathogenic isolates to three distinct genetic groups. / MCLAREN, ANDREW J.; TROTT, DARREN J.; SWAYNE, DAVID E.; OXBERRY, SOPHY L.; HAMPSON, DAVID J.

In: Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol. 35, No. 2, 02.1997, p. 412-417.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review