Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Genomic dissection of an Icelandic epidemic of respiratory disease in horses and associated zoonotic cases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Sigríður Björnsdóttir, Simon R. Harris, Vilhjálmur Svansson, Eggert Gunnarsson, Ólöf G. Sigurðardóttir, Kristina Gammeljord, Karen F. Steward, J. Richard Newton, Carl Robinson, Amelia R. L. Charbonneau, Julian Parkhill, Matthew T. G. Holden, Andrew S. Waller

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Iceland is free of the major infectious diseases of horses. However, in 2010 an epidemic of respiratory disease of unknown cause spread through the country's native horse population of 77,000. Microbiological investigations ruled out known viral agents but identified the opportunistic pathogen Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus) in diseased animals. We sequenced the genomes of 257 isolates of S. zooepidemicus to differentiate epidemic from endemic strains. We found that although multiple endemic clones of S. zooepidemicus were present, one particular clone, sequence type 209 (ST209), was likely to have been responsible for the epidemic. Concurrent with the epidemic, ST209 was also recovered from a human case of septicemia, highlighting the pathogenic potential of this strain. Epidemiological investigation revealed that the incursion of this strain into one training yard during February 2010 provided a nidus for the infection of multiple horses that then transmitted the strain to farms throughout Iceland. This study represents the first time that whole-genome sequencing has been used to investigate an epidemic on a national scale to identify the likely causative agent and the link to an associated zoonotic infection. Our data highlight the importance of national biosecurity to protect vulnerable populations of animals and also demonstrate the potential impact of S. zooepidemicus transmission to other animals, including humans.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00826-17
Number of pages13
JournalmBio
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Icelandic horse, Streptococcus zooepedemicus, Epidemiology, Genome analysis, Respiratory pathogens, Zoonotic infections

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Improved characterisation of MRSA transmission using within-host bacterial sequence diversity

    Hall, M. D., Holden, M. TG., Srisomang, P., Mahavanakul, W., Wuthiekanun, V., Limmathurotsakul, D., Fountain, K., Parkhill, J., Nickerson, E. K., Peacock, S. J. & Fraser, C., 8 Oct 2019, In : eLife. 8

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Genomic identification of cryptic susceptibility to penicillins and β-lactamase inhibitors in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    Harrison, E. M., Ba, X., Coll, F., Blane, B., Restif, O., Carvell, H., Köser, C. U., Jamrozy, D., Reuter, S., Lovering, A., Gleadall, N., Bellis, K. L., Uhlemann, A. C., Lowy, F. D., Massey, R. C., Grilo, I. R., Sobral, R., Larsen, J., Rhod Larsen, A., Vingsbo Lundberg, C. & 5 others, Parkhill, J., Paterson, G. K., Holden, M. T. G., Peacock, S. J. & Holmes, M. A., 24 Jun 2019, In : Nature Microbiology. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Atlas of group A streptococcal vaccine candidates compiled using large-scale comparative genomics

    Davies, M. R., McIntyre, L., Mutreja, A., Lacey, J. A., Lees, J. A., Towers, R. J., Duchêne, S., Smeesters, P. R., Frost, H. R., Price, D. J., Holden, M. T. G., David, S., Giffard, P. M., Worthing, K. A., Seale, A. C., Berkley, J. A., Harris, S. R., Rivera-Hernandez, T., Berking, O., Cork, A. J. & 18 others, Torres, R. S. L. A., Lithgow, T., Strugnell, R. A., Bergmann, R., Nitsche-Schmitz, P., Chhatwal, G. S., Bentley, S. D., Fraser, J. D., Moreland, N. J., Carapetis, J. R., Steer, A. C., Parkhill, J., Saul, A., Williamson, D. A., Currie, B. J., Tong, S. Y. C., Dougan, G. & Walker, M. J., Jun 2019, In : Nature Genetics. 51, 6, p. 1035-1043

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Antimicrobial resistance in atopic dermatitis: need for an urgent rethink

    Harkins, C. P., Holden, M. T. G. & Irvine, A. D., Mar 2019, In : Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. 122, 3, p. 236-240 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Mobile-genetic-element-encoded hypertolerance to copper protects Staphylococcus aureus from killing by host phagocytes

    Zapotoczna, M., Riboldi, G. P., Moustafa, A. M., Dickson, E., Narechania, A., Morrissey, J. A., Planet, P. J., Holden, M. T. G., Waldron, K. J. & Geoghegan, J. A., 16 Oct 2018, In : mBio. 9, 5, 15 p., e00550-18.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The Phytophthora infestans haustorium is a site for secretion of diverse classes of infection-associated proteins

    Wang, S., Welsh, L., Thorpe, P., Whisson, S. C., Boevink, P. C. & Birch, P. R. J., 28 Aug 2018, In : mBio. 9, 4, 14 p., e01216-18.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Whole-genome sequencing for routine pathogen surveillance in public health: a population snapshot of invasive Staphylococcus aureus in Europe

    Aanensen, D. M., Feil, E. J., Holden, M. T. G., Dordel, J., Yeats, C. A., Fedosejev, A., Goater, R., Castillo-Ramírez, S., Corander, J., Colijn, C., Chlebowicz, M. A., Schouls, L., Heck, M., Pluister, G., Ruimy, R., Kahlmeter, G., Åhman, J., Matuschek, E., Friedrich, A. W., Parkhill, J. & 5 others, Bentley, S. D., Spratt, B. G., Grundmann, H., ESCMID study group on Molecular Epidemiological Markers (ESGEM) & European Staphylococcal Reference Laboratory Working Group, 5 May 2016, In : mBio. 7, 3, p. 1-15 15 p., e00444-16.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Emergence of a new highly successful acapsular Group A Streptococcus clade of the genotype emm89 in the United Kingdom

    Turner, C. E., Abbott, J., Lamagni, T., Holden, M., David, S., Jones, M. D., Game, L., Efstratiou, A. & Sriskandan, S., Jul 2015, In : mBio. 6, 4, 11 p., e00622-15.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 250666679

Top