Tularemia is a rare zoonotic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Serology is frequently the preferred diagnostic approach, because the pathogen is highly infectious and difficult to cultivate. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of tularemia specific tests.
Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by a non-motile and non-spore-forming Gram-negative coccoid rod bacterium, Francisella tularensis. It occurs naturally in lagomorphs (rabbits and hares), but many animals have been reported to be susceptible. Transmission to humans is mostly caused by inhalation of aerosolised bacteria, handling of infected animals, arthropod stings, and ingestion of contaminated foods and water. At present, pathogenic isolation, molecular detection, and serology are the most commonly used methods to confirm the diagnosis of tularemia. In this work, an electrochemical immunosensor for the detection of anti-F. tularensis antibodies was developed, consisting of gold-based self-assembled monolayers of a carboxylic-group-terminated bipodal alkanethiol that is covalently linked to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that can be found in the outer membrane of the bacteria F. tularensis. The presence of anti-F. tularensis antibodies was measured using horseradish peroxidase-labelled protein A (HRP-protein A) from Staphylococcus aureus, and the developed immunosensor gave a stable quantitative response to different anti-F. tularensis FB11 antibody concentrations after 30 min with a limit of detection of 15 ng/mL, RSD of 9%, n?=?3. The developed immunosensor was tested with serum from animals infected with tularemia and was compared to the results obtained using ELISA showing an excellent degree of correlation.
Tularemia is a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by a Gram-negative coccoid rod bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is considered as a life-threatening potential biological warfare agent due to its high virulence, transmission, mortality and simplicity of cultivation. In the work reported here, different electrochemical immunosensor formats for the detection of whole F. tularensis bacteria were developed and their performance compared. An anti-Francisella antibody (FB11) was used for the detection that recognises the lipopolysaccharide found in the outer membrane of the bacteria. In the first approach, gold-supported self-assembled monolayers of a carboxyl terminated bipodal alkanethiol were used to covalently cross-link with the FB11 antibody. In an alternative second approach F(ab) fragments of the FB11 antibody were generated and directly chemisorbed onto the gold electrode surface. The second approach resulted in an increased capture efficiency and higher sensitivity. Detection limits of 4.5 ng/mL for the lipopolysaccharide antigen and 31 bacteria/mL for the F. tularensis bacteria were achieved. Having demonstrated the functionality of the immunosensor, an electrode array was functionalised with the antibody fragment and integrated with microfluidics and housed in a tester set-up that facilitated complete automation of the assay. The only end-user intervention is sample addition, requiring less than one-minute hands-on time. The use of the automated microfluidic set-up not only required much lower reagent volumes but also the required incubation time was considerably reduced and a notable increase of 3-fold in assay sensitivity was achieved with a total assay time from sample addition to read-out of less than 20 min.
Abstract Tularemia outbreaks in humans have recently been reported in many European countries, but data on the occurrence in the animal population are scarce. In North America, seroconversion of omnivores and carnivores was used as indicator for the presence of tularemia, for the European fauna, however, data are barely available. Therefore, the suitability of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as indicators for the circulation of F. tularensis in Germany was evaluated. Serum samples from 566 wild boars and 457 red foxes were collected between 1995 and 2012 in three federal states in Central Germany (Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia). The overall rate of seropositive animals was 1.1% in wild boars and 7.4% in red foxes. In conclusion, serological examination of red foxes is recommended, because they can be reliably used as indicator animals for the presence of F. tularensis in the environment.
Classical microbiological diagnosis of human brucellosis is time-consuming, hazardous, and subject to variable interpretation. Intact-cell matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was evaluated for the routine identification of Brucella spp. Analysis of mass peak patterns allowed accurate identification to the genus level. However, statistical models based on peak intensities were needed for definite species differentiation. Interlaboratory comparison confirmed the reproducibility of the results.
Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis that has been found in many different vertebrates. In Germany most human infections are caused by contact with infected European brown hares (Lepus europaeus). The aim of this study was to elucidate the epidemiology of tularemia in hares using phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of F. tularensis.
Campylobacter is genetically highly diverse and undergoes frequent intraspecific recombination. Turkeys have been identified as an important reservoir for Campylobacter jejuni which is of public health significance. The assessment of the genetic diversity among Campylobacter population is critical for our understanding of the epidemiology of this bacterium. The genetic profiles were different according to the molecular typing methods used. The performance of established flaA genotyping, multilocus sequencing typing (MLST) and DNA microarray assay based on the ArrayTube™ technology was evaluated using 14 Campylobacter jejuni isolated from a commercial turkey flock. The flaA typing was performed using PCR-RFLP with restriction enzymes Sau3AI, AluI, a composite flaA analysis of AluI and Sau3AI and DdeI. The 14 isolates were differentiated into 3, 5, 7 and 9 genotypes, respectively. Entire flaA gene and short variable region (SVR) sequences were analysed. Sequencing of the entire flaA provided 11 different genotypes. flaA-SVR sequence analysis detected 8 flaA alleles and 4 flaA peptides. One new flaA allele type (528) was identified. MLST analysis represented 10 different sequence types (STs) and 5 clonal complexes (CCs). The microarray assay recognised 14 different genotypes. The discriminatory indices were 0.560, 0.802, 0.857, and 0.912 for flaA-RFLP depending on the used enzymes, 0.890 for flaA-SVR, 0.967 for entire flaA sequencing, 0.945 for MLST and 1.00 for the DNA microarray assay. The flaA gene was genetically stable over 20 passages on blood agar. In conclusion, the different typing tools demonstrated a high level of genetic heterogeneity of Campylobacter jejuni in a turkey flock, indicating that a single flock can be infected by multiple genotypes within one rearing cycle. DNA microarray-based assays had the highest discriminatory power when compared with other genotyping tools.
Brucellosis is one of the major bacterial zoonoses worldwide. In the past decade, an increasing number of atypical Brucella strains and species have been described. Brucella microti in particular has attracted attention, because this species not only infects mammalian hosts but also persists in soil. An environmental reservoir may pose a new public health risk, leading to the reemergence of brucellosis. In a polyphasic approach, comprising conventional microbiological techniques and extensive biochemical and molecular techniques, all currently available Brucella microti strains were characterized. While differing in their natural habitats and host preferences, B. microti isolates were found to possess identical 16S rRNA, recA, omp2a, and omp2b gene sequences and identical multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) profiles at 21 different genomic loci. Only highly variable microsatellite markers of multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis comprising 16 loci (MLVA-16) showed intraspecies discriminatory power. In contrast, biotyping demonstrated striking differences within the genetically homologous species. The majority of the mammalian isolates agglutinated only with monospecific anti-M serum, whereas soil isolates agglutinated with anti-A, anti-M, and anti-R sera. Bacteria isolated from animal sources were lysed by phages F1, F25, Tb, BK2, Iz, and Wb, whereas soil isolates usually were not. Rough strains of environmental origin were lysed only by phage R/C. B. microti exhibited high metabolic activities similar to those of closely related soil organisms, such as Ochrobactrum spp. Each strain was tested with 93 different substrates and showed an individual metabolic profile. In summary, the adaptation of Brucella microti to a specific habitat or host seems to be a matter of gene regulation rather than a matter of gene configuration.
Brucellosis in livestock causes enormous losses for economies of developing countries and poses a severe health risk to consumers of dairy products. Little information is known especially on camel brucellosis and its impact on human health. For surveillance and control of the disease, sensitive and reliable detection methods are needed. Although serological tests are the mainstay of diagnosis in camel brucellosis, these tests have been directly transposed from cattle without adequate validation. To date, little information on application of real-time PCR for detection of Brucella in camel serum is available. Therefore, this study was performed to compare the diagnostic efficiency of different serological tests and real-time PCR in order to identify the most sensitive, rapid and simple combination of tests for detecting Brucella infection in camels.
Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis is the causative agent of bovine genital campylobacteriosis and is transmitted by asymptomatic carrier bulls via contaminated semen during artificial insemination. The aim of the present study was to determine the in vitro susceptibility of Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis isolated from bovine specimens in the years from 2000 to 2009 in Germany to antibiotics generally used in semen treatment. The susceptibilities of 50 strains to spectinomycin (10 microg), gentamicin (10 microg), streptomycin (25 microg), penicillin (10 microg), lincomycin (10 microg), ciprofloxacin (5 microg), erythromycin (30 microg) and tetracycline (30 microg) were determined using a disk diffusion susceptibility test. All strains were susceptible to gentamicin. A considerably reduced susceptibility to one or more antimicrobial agents was detected in seven out of 50 isolates (14%) with the most frequent reduction in susceptibility to lincomycin and spectinomycin. Furthermore, strains with reduced susceptibility to more than one antimicrobial agent were always associated with reduced susceptibility to lincomycin. It is recommended to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis isolates in order to evaluate the efficacy of the generally used antibiotic treatment of bull semen and to detect possible resistances.
Although Mongolia is regarded as one of the possible places of plague radiation, only few data are available from Mongolian Yersinia pestis strains. In this study a total of 100 Mongolian Y. pestis strains isolated from wild mammals and their parasites between the years 1960 and 2007 were analyzed for their phenotype. All strains grew well on selective Cefsulodin-Irgasan-Novobiocin agar and were positive for the F1-antigen, the F1-gene (caf1), and the plasminogen activator gene (pla). Biochemical analyses using the API20E® system identified 93% of the strains correctly as Y. pestis. The BWY in-house system consisting of 38 biochemical reactions was used to differentiate among Y. pestis subspecies pestis biovars Antiqua and Medievalis and also between the subspecies microtus biovars Ulegeica and Caucasica. Antibiotic susceptibility testing according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute-guidelines identified one strain as being multiresistant. This strain was isolated from a wildlife rodent with no anthropogenic influence and thus suggests naturally acquired resistance.
Brucellosis is a worldwide zoonosis leading to tremendous economic losses and severe human illness. Fast and reliable laboratory tests are needed to detect disease in both humans and animals and to monitor the production of safe food products and feed. For rapid identification of the genus Brucella and differentiation of its species, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction microarray assay based on 11 signature sequences and redundant oligonucleotide probes was developed. The gene targets included genus-specific sequences in bcsp31, perA, cgs, and omp2b, as well as chromosomal regions displaying species-specific hybridization patterns. Brucella reference strains and a representative panel of 102 field isolates were unambiguously identified by their hybridization patterns. The differentiation of species, however, was limited in members of the groups B. suis bv 3/4/B. canis and B. neotomae/B. microti. In summary, the newly developed Brucella ArrayTube® assay is an easy-to-handle molecular test for high-throughput and parallel analysis.
Pneumonic plague is a highly transmissible infectious disease for which fatality rates can be high if untreated; it is considered extremely lethal. Without prompt diagnosis and treatment, disease management can be problematic. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 outbreaks of pneumonic plague occurred during 2005 and 2006. In 2005, because of limitations in laboratory capabilities, etiology was confirmed only through retrospective serologic studies. This prompted modifications in diagnostic strategies, resulting in isolation of Yersinia pestis during the second outbreak. Results from these outbreaks demonstrate the utility of a rapid diagnostic test detecting F1 antigen for initial diagnosis and public health management, as well as the need for specialized sampling kits and trained personnel for quality specimen collection and appropriate specimen handling and preservation for plague confirmation and Y. pestis isolation. Efficient frontline management and a streamlined diagnostic strategy are essential for confirming plague, especially in remote areas.
The genus Campylobacter contains several, widespread pathogens causing food-borne diseases of zoonotic nature in humans. In case of outbreaks, the differentiation of closely related Campylobacter is essential for epidemiological studies, which investigate the routes of geographical spread and ways of transmission. Recent advances in mass spectrometry (MS) have shown that matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) MS is a valuable tool for speciation of bacteria such as Campylobacter. Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI)-TOF-MS is a specific MALDI-TOF application that combines a chip-based chromatographic enrichment of proteins with TOF-MS. This pilot study aims at investigating for the first time whether SELDI-TOF-MS can be applied for discrimination of Campylobacter at the level of species and even strains. Campylobacter type-strains and isolates from different regions were cultured and subsequently subjected to physicochemical lysis. Protein lysates were then applied on CM10 and IMAC30 ProteinChip Array surfaces and analyzed using a PCS 4000 SELDI Protein Chip System (Bio-Rad Laboratories). By comparison of the spectra from Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter upsaliensis, and Campylobacter lari, 166 and 160 different protein peaks were observed (p<0.05) using CM10 and IMAC30 chips, respectively. Development of classification trees, comprising 2-4 of these peaks, allows for discrimination of different Campylobacter species and even strains. Moreover, species and strains can be sufficiently separated from each other by hierarchical cluster analysis. Thus, SELDI-TOF-MS is a promising tool to differentiate Campylobacter species and even strains. Species/strain-specific ions observed in addition to well-established markers identified by MALDI-TOF might be of value for future Campylobacter-identifying algorithms. To further clarify the potential advantages of this method, our results have to be validated against several independent test datasets of, preferably, a multitude of prospectively collected different isolates and compared with other typing techniques.
The wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a known indicator species for natural foci of brucellosis. Here, we describe phenotypic and molecular characteristics of two atypical Brucella strains isolated from two foxes hunted 2008 in Eastern Austria. Both strains agglutinated with monospecific anti-Brucella A serum and were positive in ELISA with monoclonal antibodies directed against various Brucella lipopolysaccharide epitopes. However, negative nitrate reductase- and negative oxidase-reaction were atypical traits. Affiliation to the genus Brucella was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and by detection of the Brucella specific insertion element IS711 and gene bcsp31 using real-time PCR. Both fox strains showed identical IS711 Southern blot profiles but were distinct from known brucellae. The number of IS711 copies detected was as high as found in B. ovis or marine mammal Brucella strains. Molecular analyses of the recA and omp2a/b genes suggest that both strains possibly represent a novel Brucella species.
Two Gram negative, micro-aerophilic, non-motile and non-spore-forming coccoid bacteria were isolated from female turkey caecal samples collected from a slaughterhouse. The biochemical reaction profiles (API 20 E and API 20 NE) typed both strains as Ochrobactrum anthropi. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene and recA gene sequence similarities the strains were identified as O. anthropi and Ochrobactrum pecoris, respectively. Both strains were highly resistant against beta-lactam antibiotics, chloramphenicol and sulphonamides but variable in susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and tetracycline. This is the first time that Ochrobactrum species were isolated from an avian host, i.e. turkey.
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC is the pathogenic agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), the most important disease of cattle in Africa causing significant economic losses. The re-emergence of CBPP in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s illustrates that it is still a threat also to countries that have successfully eradicated the disease in the past. Nowadays, probe-based real-time PCR techniques are among the most advanced tools for a reliable identification and a sensitive detection of many pathogens, but only few protocols have been published so far for CBPP diagnosis. Therefore we developed a novel TaqMan®-based real-time PCR assay comprising the amplification of two independent targets (MSC_0136 and MSC_1046) and an internal exogenous amplification control in a multiplex reaction and evaluated its diagnostic performance with clinical samples.
Two Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming strains, designated 08RB2639(T) and 08RB2781-1, were isolated from a sheep (Ovis aries) and a domestic boar (Sus scrofa domestica), respectively. By 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the isolates revealed identical sequences and were shown to belong to the Alphaproteobacteria. They exhibited 97.8?% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with Ochrobactrum rhizosphaerae PR17(T), O. pituitosum CCUG 50899(T), O. tritici SCII24(T) and O. haematophilum CCUG 38531(T) and 97.4?% sequence similarity with O. cytisi ESC1(T), O. anthropi LMG 3331(T) and O. lupini LUP21(T). The recA gene sequences of the two isolates showed only minor differences (99.5?% recA sequence similarity), and strain 08RB2639(T) exhibited the highest recA sequence similarity with Ochrobactrum intermedium CCUG 24694(T) (91.3?%). The quinone system was ubiquinone Q-10, with minor amounts of Q-9 and Q-11, the major polyamines were spermidine, putrescine and sym-homospermidine and the major lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine, with moderate amounts of the Ochrobactrum-specific unidentified aminolipid AL2. The major fatty acids (>20?%) were C??:??7c and C??:? cyclo ?8c. These traits were in excellent agreement with the assignment of the isolates to the genus Ochrobactrum. DNA-DNA relatedness and physiological and biochemical tests allowed genotypic and phenotypic differentiation from other members of the genus Ochrobactrum. Hence, it is concluded that the isolates represent a novel species, for which the name Ochrobactrum pecoris sp. nov. is proposed (type strain 08RB2639(T) ?=?DSM 23868(T) ?=?CCUG 60088(T) ?=?CCM 7822(T)).
The importance of established and emerging tick-borne pathogens in Central and Northern Europe is steadily increasing. In 2007, we collected Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on birds (n = 211) and rodents (n = 273), as well as host-seeking stages (n = 196), in a habitat in central Germany. In order to find out more about their natural transmission cycles, the ticks were tested for the presence of Lyme disease borreliae, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae, Francisella tularensis, and babesiae. Altogether, 20.1% of the 680 ticks examined carried at least one pathogen. Bird-feeding ticks were more frequently infected with Borrelia spp. (15.2%) and A. phagocytophilum (3.2%) than rodent-feeding ticks (2.6%; 1.1%) or questing ticks (5.1%; 0%). Babesia spp. showed higher prevalence rates in ticks parasitizing birds (13.2%) and host-seeking ticks (10.7%), whereas ticks from small mammals were less frequently infected (6.6%). SFG rickettsiae and F. tularensis were also found in ticks collected off birds (2.1%; 1.2%), rodents (1.8%; 1.5%), and vegetation (4.1%; 1.6%). Various combinations of coinfections occurred in 10.9% of all positive ticks, indicating interaction of transmission cycles. Our results suggest that birds not only are important reservoirs for several pathogens but also act as vehicles for infected ticks and might therefore play a key role in the dispersal of tick-borne diseases.
To gain deeper insight into the seroprevalence of brucellosis, which remains a zoonotic disease of worldwide public health concern, by reviewing studies from countries including North Africa, the Middle East, and India.
A commercial biotyping system (Taxa Profile™, Merlin Diagnostika) testing the metabolization of various substrates by bacteria was used to determine if a set of phenotypic features will allow the identification of members of the genus Brucella and their differentiation into species and biovars.
Yersinia (Y.) pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic in natural foci of Asia, Africa, and America. Real-time PCR assays have been described as rapid diagnostic tools, but so far none has been validated for its clinical use. In a retrospective clinical study we evaluated three real-time PCR assays in two different assay formats, 5-nuclease and hybridization probes assays. Lymph node aspirates from 149 patients from Madagascar with the clinical diagnosis of bubonic plague were investigated for the detection of Y. pestis DNA. Results of real-time PCR assays targeting the virulence plasmids pPCP1 (pla gene), and pMT1 (caf1, Ymt genes) were compared with an F1-antigen immunochromatographic test (ICT) and cultivation of the organism. Out of the 149 samples an infection with Y. pestis was confirmed by culture in 47 patients while ICT was positive in 88 including all culture proven cases. The best real-time PCR assay was the 5-nuclease assay targeting pla which was positive in 120 cases. In conclusion, the 5-nuclease assay targeting pla can be recommended as diagnostic tool for establishing a presumptive diagnosis when bubonic plague is clinically suspected.
A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples. These samples often harbor Bacillus cereus bacteria closely related to B. anthracis, which may hinder its specific identification by resulting in false positive signals. The assay consists of two duplex real-time PCR: the first PCR allows amplification of a sequence specific of the B. cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, Bacillus pseudomycoides, and Bacillus mycoides) within the phosphoenolpyruvate/sugar phosphotransferase system I gene and a B. anthracis specific single nucleotide polymorphism within the adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. The second real-time PCR assay targets the lethal factor gene from virulence plasmid pXO1 and the capsule synthesis gene from virulence plasmid pXO2. Specificity of the assay is enhanced by the use of minor groove binding probes and/or locked nucleic acids probes. The assay was validated on 304 bacterial strains including 37 B. anthracis, 67 B. cereus group, 54 strains of non-cereus group Bacillus, and 146 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. The assay was performed on various environmental samples spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus spores. The assay allowed an accurate identification of B. anthracis in environmental samples. This study provides a rapid and reliable method for improving rapid identification of B. anthracis in field operational conditions.
The detection of Brucellae in tissue specimens using PCR assays is difficult because the amount of bacteria is usually low. Therefore, optimised DNA extraction methods are critical. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of commercial kits for the extraction of Brucella DNA.
A Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming coccoid bacterium (strain BO1(T)) was isolated recently from a breast implant infection of a 71-year-old female patient with clinical signs of brucellosis. Affiliation of strain BO1(T) to the genus Brucella was confirmed by means of polyamine pattern, polar lipid profile, fatty acid profile, quinone system, DNA-DNA hybridization studies and by insertion sequence 711 (IS711)-specific PCR. Strain BO1(T) harboured four to five copies of the Brucella-specific insertion element IS 711, displaying a unique banding pattern, and exhibited a unique 16S rRNA gene sequence and also grouped separately in multilocus sequence typing analysis. Strain BO1(T) reacted with Brucella M-monospecific antiserum. Incomplete lysis was detected with bacteriophages Tb (Tbilisi), F1 and F25. Biochemical profiling revealed a high degree of enzymic activity and metabolic capabilities. In multilocus VNTR (variable-number tandem-repeat) analysis, strain BO1(T) showed a very distinctive profile and clustered with the other exotic Brucella strains, including strains isolated from marine mammals, and Brucella microti, Brucella suis biovar 5 and Brucella neotomae. Comparative omp2a and omp2b gene sequence analysis revealed the most divergent omp2 sequences identified to date for a Brucella strain. The recA gene sequence of strain BO1(T) differed in seven nucleotides from the Brucella recA consensus sequence. Using the Brucella species-specific multiplex PCR assay, strain BO1(T) displayed a unique banding pattern not observed in other Brucella species. From the phenotypic and molecular analysis it became evident that strain BO1( T) was clearly different from all other Brucella species, and therefore represents a novel species within the genus Brucella. Because of its unexpected isolation, the name Brucella inopinata with the type strain BO1(T) (=BCCN 09-01(T)=CPAM 6436(T)) is proposed.
From the mandibular lymph nodes of wild red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) hunted in the region of Gmünd, Lower Austria, two gram-negative, oxidase- and urease-positive, coccoid rod-shaped bacteria (strains 257 and 284) were isolated. Cells were fast growing, nonmotile, and agglutinated with monospecific anti-Brucella (M) serum. Both strains were biochemically identified as Ochrobactrum anthropi by using the API 20NE test. However, sequencing of the 16S rRNA and recA genes clearly identified strains 257 and 284 as Brucella spp. Further molecular analysis by omp2a/b gene sequencing, multilocus sequence typing and multilocus variable number tandem repeats analysis revealed Brucella microti, a recently described Brucella species that has originally been isolated from diseased common voles (Microtus arvalis) in South Moravia, Czech Republic in 2000. Our findings demonstrate that B. microti is prevalent in a larger geographic area covering the region of South Moravia and parts of Lower Austria. Foxes could have become infected by ingestion of infected common voles.
Low oxygen tension was proposed to be one of the environmental parameters characteristic of the patho-physiological conditions of natural infections by Brucella suis. We previously showed that various respiratory pathways may be used by B. suis in response to microaerobiosis and anaerobiosis. Here, we compare the whole proteome of B. suis exposed to such low-oxygenated conditions to that obtained from bacteria grown under ambient air using 2-D DIGE. Data showed that the reduction of basal metabolism was in line with low or absence of growth of B. suis. Under both microaerobiosis and anaerobiosis, glycolysis and denitrification were favored. In addition, fatty acid oxidation and possibly citrate fermentation could also contribute to energy production sufficient for survival under anaerobiosis. When oxygen availability changed and became limiting, basic metabolic processes were still functional and variability of respiratory pathways was observed to a degree unexpected for a strictly aerobic microorganism. This highly flexible respiration probably constitutes an advantage for the survival of Brucella under the restricted oxygenation conditions encountered within host tissue.
Ochrobactrum (O.) anthropi is an opportunistic emerging pathogen closely related to the genus Brucella. Identification and differentiation from brucellae and other Ochrobactrum spp. using routine biochemical test systems is not reliable due to the high phenotypic similarity. In this study, antibiotic susceptibilities of 103 Ochrobactrum isolates were determined using Etest for 19 clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. Ochrobactrum strains were highly resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics, susceptible to ciprofloxacin, and 97.1% were susceptible to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. It was also demonstrated that biochemical reaction profiles of the API and BD Phoenix 100 systems for identifying Ochrobactrum isolates can only be used on the genus level. Our in vitro data suggest that combinations of antimicrobial agents including ciprofloxacin and/or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole may be useful for empirical treatment of Ochrobactrum infections.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance among Campylobacter isolates recovered from turkeys has increased dramatically. Monitoring the progress of this resistance becomes a growing public health issue. The aim of the present study was to provide information of the current status of antibiotic resistance patterns in Campylobacter jejuni from turkeys. Seventy-six C. jejuni isolates were recovered from 67 epidemiologically unrelated meat turkey flocks in different regions of Germany in 2010 and 2011. The isolates were typed by flaA genotyping and were investigated for antimicrobial susceptibility against 12 antibiotics by using a broth microdilution test as well as testing the genetic determination of ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and erythromycin resistance. All isolates (n = 76) were sensitive to gentamicin and chloramphenicol. The numbers of isolates that were sensitive to streptomycin, erythromycin, neomycin, and amoxicillin were 69 (90.8%), 61 (80.2%), 58 (76.4%), and 44 (57.9%), respectively. Only one isolate was sensitive to all tested antibiotics. The emergence of a high resistance rate and multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antimicrobial agents were observed. The resistance against sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, naladixic acid, and tetracycline was 58 (76.3%), 58 (76.3%), 53 (69.7%), 51 (67.1%), and 42 (55.3%), respectively. None of the isolates was resistant to all antibiotics. Multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antimicrobial agents was found and ranged from 3.9% to 40.8%. Replacement of the Thr-86-->Ile in gyrA gene and detection of the tet(O) gene were the main resistance mechanisms for fluoroquinolones and tetracycline, respectively, while the lack of mutation in position 2074 and 2075 on the 23S rRNA gene was responsible for macrolide resistance. The phenotypic and genotypic resistance profiles were compatible in the case of ciprofloxacin and tetracycline but were not completely congruent with respect to erythromycin.
Brucella canis occurs almost worldwide and is a potential danger to the health of dogs and humans. The pathogen was detected in the placenta and fetuses of a Standard Poodle by direct culture and immunohistochemistry. Further, Brucellae were also isolated from the blood samples of two asymptomatic female Medium Poodles. The isolates were identified as B. canis by conventional microbiological methods and a novel Bruce-ladder multiplex PCR. Genotyping was performed by multiple locus variable number tandem repeats analysis (MLVA).
Burkholderia (B.) pseudomallei and B. mallei are genetically closely related species. B. pseudomallei causes melioidosis in humans and animals, whereas B. mallei is the causative agent of glanders in equines and rarely also in humans. Both agents have been classified by the CDC as priority category B biological agents. Rapid identification is crucial, because both agents are intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has the potential of rapid and reliable identification of pathogens, but is limited by the availability of a database containing validated reference spectra. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the rapid and reliable identification and differentiation of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei and to build up a reliable reference database for both organisms.
Several real-time PCR approaches to develop field detection for Francisella tularensis, the infectious agent causing tularemia, have been explored. We report the development of a novel qualitative real-time isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for use on a small ESEQuant Tube Scanner device. The analytical sensitivity and specificity were tested using a plasmid standard and DNA extracts from infected rabbit tissues. The assay showed a performance comparable to real-time PCR but reduced the assay time to 10 min. The rapid RPA method has great application potential for field use or point-of-care diagnostics.
Current epidemiological data on the situation of Coxiella (C.) burnetii infections in sheep are missing, making risk assessment and the implementation of counteractive measures difficult. Using the German state of Thuringia as a model example, the estimated sero-, and antigen prevalence of C. burnetii (10% and 25%, respectively) was assessed at flock level in 39/252 randomly selected clinically healthy sheep flocks with more than 100 ewes and unknown abortion rate.
Bacterial isolates from frogs were phenotypically identified as Ochrobactrum anthropi, but 16S rRNA sequencing showed up to 100% identity with Brucella inopinata. Further analysis of recA, omp2a, omp2b, bcsp31, and IS711 and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) verified a close relationship with Brucella, suggesting the isolates may actually represent novel members of this growing genus of zoonotic pathogens.
To assess the general impact of endemic countries on the re-emergence of brucellosis in non-endemic regions of the European Union, the genetic fingerprints of Brucella melitensis strains imported to Germany were compared to ovine strains from Turkey in a molecular epidemiological study. Genotyping of 66 Brucella strains (based on Multiple Locus of Variable number of tandem repeats Analysis) isolated from German travellers and Turkish immigrants living in Germany revealed epidemiological concordance with 20 sheep isolates originating from Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. In summary, cross-border molecular tracing confirmed brucellosis being a zoonosis of concern for European public health.
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