Characterization of virulence plasmids and serotyping of Rhodococcus equi isolates from submaxillary lymph nodes of pigs in Hungary

László Makrai, Saki Takayama, Béla Dénes, István Hajtós, Yukako Sasaki, Tsutomu Kakuda, Shiro Tsubaki, Andrea Major, László Fodor, János Varga, Shinji Takai

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The plasmid types and serotypes of 164 Rhodococcus equi strains obtained from submaxillary lymph nodes of swine from different piggeries in 28 villages and towns located throughout the country were examined. The strains were tested by PCR for the presence of 15- to 17-kDa virulence-associated protein antigen (VapA) and 20-kDa virulence-associated protein antigen (VapB) genes. Plasmid DNAs were isolated and analyzed by digestion with restriction endonucleases to estimate size and compare their polymorphism characteristics. None of the 164 isolates contained the vapA gene, and 44 (26.8%) isolates were positive for the vapB gene, showing a product of the expected 827-bp size in the PCR amplification. The 44 isolates of intermediate virulence contained virulence plasmids that were identified as types 1 (3 isolates), 4 (1 isolate), 5 (36 isolates), 6 (1 isolate), and 7 (2 isolates) and as a new variant (1 isolate). On the basis of restriction digestion patterns of plasmid DNAs, we tentatively designated the variant as type 17. Use of the serotyping method of Prescott showed that 110 (67.1%) out of the 164 isolates were typeable and that serotype 2 predominated (83 isolates [50.6%]), followed by serotype 1 (26 strains [15.9%]). Only one isolate belonged to serotype 3. A total of 54 (32.9%) isolates were untypeable in Prescott's system. The prevalence of R. equi strains of intermediate virulence among the isolates that came from the submaxillary lymph nodes of swine in Hungary was lower than that seen with isolates obtained elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1250
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - márc. 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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