Isolation and characterisation of Rhodococcus equi from submaxillary lymph nodes of wild boars (Sus scrofa)

László Makrai, Ayumi Kobayashi, Misa Matsuoka, Yukako Sasaki, Tsutomu Kakuda, Béla Dénes, István Hajtós, István Révész, Katalin Jánosi, László Fodor, János Varga, Shinji Takai

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Rhodococcus equi has been isolated from the submaxillary lymph nodes of domesticated pigs, but little is known about the presence of R. equi in wild boars. The aim of the study was the evaluation of the incidence of R. equi in wild boars and the characterisation of them. Of 482 submaxillary lymph nodes of wild boars shot in 39 settlements throughout Hungary, R. equi was isolated from 60 specimens, and plasmid types of 82 isolates were examined. The isolates were tested for the presence of 15-17-kDa (VapA) and 20-kDa virulence-associated protein antigen (VapB) genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Plasmid DNAs were isolated and analysed by digestion with restriction endonucleases to estimate size and compare their polymorphisms. None of the 82 isolates contained vapA gene but 21 isolates (25.6%) were positive for vapB gene showing 827 bp product of the expected size in the PCR amplification. Sixty-one strains (74.4%) did not contain plasmid. The 21 isolates of intermediate virulence contained virulence plasmids that were identified as types 1 (1 isolate), 5 (16 isolates), 21 (1 isolate), and three new distinct plasmid variants (1-1-1 isolate), respectively. On the basis of restriction digestion patterns of plasmid DNAs, we tentatively designated the new variants as types 25-27, respectively. The prevalence of R. equi strains of intermediate virulence among the isolates originated from the submaxillary lymph nodes of wild boars (25.6%) is very similar to those of domestic pigs (26.8%) in Hungary, and plasmid type 5 is the predominating one in both groups. This is the first report of isolation of VapB-positive R. equi from wild boars in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2008



  • Immunocompromised patient
  • Rhodococcus equi
  • Virulence plasmid
  • Wild boars
  • vapB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

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