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
StatePublished - 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. The widespread use of topical antimicrobials enriches for resistance in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from Atopic Dermatitis patients

    Harkins, C. P., McAleer, M. A., Bennett, D., McHugh, M., Fleury, O. M., Pettigrew, K. A., Oravcová, K., Parkhill, J., Proby, C. M., Dawe, R. S., Geoghegan, J. A., Irvine, A. D. & Holden, M. T. G. 24 Jul 2018 In : British Journal of Dermatology. Early View, 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Gene exchange drives the ecological success of a multi-host bacterial pathogen

    Richardson, E. J., Bacigalupe, R., Harrison, E. M., Weinert, L. A., Lycett, S., Vrieling, M., Robb, K., Hoskisson, P. A., Holden, M. T. G., Feil, E. J., Paterson, G. K., Tong, S. Y. C., Shittu, A., van Wamel, W., Aanensen, D. M., Parkhill, J., Peacock, S. J., Corander, J., Holmes, M. & Fitzgerald, J. R. 23 Jul 2018 In : Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2, p. 1468-1478

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Naturally occurring polymorphisms in the virulence regulator Rsp modulate Staphylococcus aureus survival in blood and antibiotic susceptibility

    Krishna, A., Holden, M. T. G., Peacock, S. J., Edwards, A. M. & Wigneshweraraj, S. 20 Jul 2018 In : Microbiology. Latest Article

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Global scale dissemination of ST93: a divergent Staphylococcus aureus epidemic lineage that has recently emerged from remote Northern Australia

    van Hal, S. J., Steinig, E. J., Andersson, P., Holden, M. T. G., Harris, S. R., Nimmo, G. R., Williamson, D. A., Heffernan, H., Ritchie, S. R., Kearns, A. M., Ellington, M. J., Dickson, E., de Lencastre, H., Coombs, G. W., Bentley, S. D., Parkhill, J., Holt, D. C., Giffard, P. M. & Tong, S. Y. C. 9 Jul 2018 In : Frontiers in Microbiology. 9, 11 p., 1453

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Comparative sequence analysis of the capsular polysaccharide loci of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serovars 1-18, and development of two multiplex PCRs for comprehensive capsule typing

    Bossé, J. T., Li, Y., Fernandez Crespo, R., Lacouture, S., Gottschalk, M., Sárközi, R., Fodor, L., Casas Amoribieta, M., Angen, Ø., Nedbalcova, K., Holden, M. T. G., Maskell, D. J., Tucker, A. W., Wren, B. W., Rycroft, A. N., Langford, P. R. & BRaDP1T Consortium Jul 2018 In : Veterinary Microbiology. 220, p. 83-89 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. 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. & 4 others Bentley, S. D., Spratt, B. G., Grundmann, H. & 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

  2. 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

  3. Turner et al. Reply to "Emergence of the same successful clade among distinct populations of emm89 Streptococcus pyogenes in multiple geographic regions"

    Turner, C. E., Lamagni, T., Holden, M. T. G., David, S., Jones, M. D., Game, L., Efstratiou, A. & Sriskandan, S. 1 Dec 2015 In : mBio. 6, 6, 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. A shared population of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 15 circulates in humans and companion animals

    Harrison, E. M., Weinert, L. A., Holden, M. T. G., Welch, J. J., Wilson, K., Morgan, F. J. E., Harris, S. R., Loeffler, A., Boag, A. K., Peacock, S. J., Paterson, G. K., Waller, A. S., Parkhill, J. & Holmes, M. A. 13 May 2014 In : mBio. 5, 3, 10 p., e00985-13

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 250666679