Isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from clinical infections in mink were subjected to serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using SpeI. A total of 212 isolates of P aeruginosa from the year 1998 to 2001 were included in this study: 168 isolates from mink obtained from 74 farm outbreaks of haemorrhagic pneumonia. Isolates from mink were separated into 34 distinct clones by PFGE subtyping. All isolates from mink infected during the same farm outbreak were identical, except in one case where two different strains were isolated from mink obtained from the same farm outbreak. R aeruginosa of specific PFGE types were found to cause clusters of outbreaks on several farms within a few weeks of each other. However, PFGE types of strains causing clusters of farm outbreaks changed from year to year. These results suggest that some outbreaks of haemorrhagic pneumonia are caused by pathogenic strains of R aeruginosa spread between farms and animals either mechanically, or through feed or water from a common source, rather than by random nosocomial infections with strains from the farm environment.
- pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa