Antimicrobial resistance and molecular epidemiology of streptococci from bovine mastitis

Márcia G. Rato, Ricardo Bexiga, Carlos Florindo, Lina M. Cavaco, Cristina L. Vilela, Ilda Santos-Sanches

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Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS), Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae (Group C Streptococcus, GCS) and Streptococcus uberis are relevant mastitis pathogens, a highly prevalent and costly disease in dairy industry due to antibiotherapy and loss in milk production. The aims of this study were the evaluation of antimicrobial drug resistance patterns, particularly important for streptococcal mastitis control and the identification of strain molecular features. Antimicrobial resistance was assessed by disk diffusion against amoxicillin–clavulanic acid, cefazolin, cefoperazone, pirlimycin-PRL, rifaximin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin-ERY, gentamicin, tetracycline-TET and vancomycin. Genotypic relationships were identified using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), macrolide and/or tetracycline resistance gene profiling, GBS capsular typing, GBS virulence gene profiling and GBS and S. uberis multi locus sequence typing (MLST).

The majority of the isolates were susceptible to all drugs except to aminoglycoside, macrolide, lincosamide and tetracycline. Close to half of the TET resistant isolates have tetO and tetK and almost all ERY–PRL resistant isolates have ermB. A high degree of intra-species polymorphism was found for GCS. The GBS belonged to ST-2, -554, -61, -23 lineages and five new molecular serotypes and human GBS insertion sequences in the cpsE gene were found. Also, GBS of serotype V with scpB and lmb seem to be related with GBS isolates of human origin (same ST-2 and similar PFGE). Overall our results suggested that different therapeutic programs may have been implemented in the different farms and that in most cases clones were herd-specific.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)286-294
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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