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Diversity of Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus strains isolated from the Spanish sheep and goat population and the identification, function and prevalence of a novel arbutin utilisation system

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Author(s)

Karen F. Steward, Carl Robinson, Matthew T. G. Holden, Simon R. Harris, Ana Fernández Ros, Gema Chacón Pérez, Rafael Baselga, Andrew S. Waller

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Abstract

The zoonotic bacterium Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus) is a diverse, opportunistic pathogen that can cause mastitis in dairy sheep and goats. We used multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to define the genetic diversity of 60 isolates of S. zooepidemicus, which were recovered from sheep and goats in Spain between 2003 and 2010. We identify a novel clonal complex based on sequence type (ST), ST-236, which accounted for 39 of the 60 isolates. A representative ST-236 strain, S. zooepidemicus strain C7 (SzC7), was sequenced and interrogated for the presence of novel nutritional uptake or utilisation systems, the acquisition of which have previously been shown to be important for environmental adaptation in other streptococcal pathogens. A novel phosphoenolpyruvate sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS), which enabled the utilisation of arbutin, was identified. Functionality of the PTS was confirmed following deletion of the PTS from SzC7. Arbutin is found in multiple animal foodstuffs and we propose that the ability to utilise arbutin may have conferred a selective advantage to strains infecting animals, the diet of which contains this sugar.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Volume207
Early online date1 Jul 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Streptococcus zooepedemicus, Mastitis, Goat, Sheep, Arbutin utilisation, PTS system acquisition

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