Exudative epidermitis in pigs caused by toxigenic Staphylococcus chromogenes

Lars Ole Andresen, Peter Ahrens, Lise Daugaard, Vivi Bille-Hansen

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    Staphylococcus chromogenes is closely related to Staphylococcus hyicus, which is recognised as the causative agent of exudative epidermitis (EE) in pigs. S. chromogenes is part of the normal skin flora of pigs, cattle and poultry and has so far been considered non-pathogenic to pigs. A strain of S. chromogenes producing exfoliative toxin type B, ExhB, was identified by the use of a multiplex PCR specific for the exfoliative toxins from S. hyicus. The exfoliative toxin from S. chromogenes reacted in immunoblot analysis with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies specific to ExhB from S. hyicus and had an apparent molecular weight of 30 kDa. Sequencing the gene encoding the exfoliative toxin from S. chromogenes revealed that the molecular weight of the toxin with the signal peptide and the mature toxin was 30,553 and 26,694 Da, respectively. Comparison of the exhB genes from S. chromogenes strain VA654 and S. hyicus strain 1289D-88 showed differences in seven base pairs of the DNA sequences and in two amino acid residues in the deduced amino acid sequences. Pigs were experimentally inoculated with S. chromogenes strain VA654. By clinical observations and histopathological evaluation of the skin alterations, all pigs revealed development of generalized exudative epidermitis. No toxin producing S. hyicus was isolated from the pigs and all ExhB-positive bacterial isolates were identified as S. chromogenes. This confirmed that the disease-causing agent was the inoculated S. chromogenes strain VA654. The results of this study show that S. chromogenes may cause exudative epidermitis in pigs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number3-4
    Pages (from-to)291-300
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • exfoliative toxin
    • exudative epidermitis
    • Staphylococcus chromogenes
    • experimental infection
    • pig-bacteria


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