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|Title:||Application of a Dot Blot Hybridization Platform to Assess Streptococcus uberis Population Structure in Dairy Herds|
|Abstract:||Streptococcus uberis is considered one of the most important pathogens associated with bovine mastitis. While traditionally acknowledged as an environmental pathogen, S. uberis has been shown to adopt a contagious epidemiological pattern in several dairy herds. Since different control strategies are employed depending on the mode of transmission, in-depth studies of S. uberis populations are essential to determine the best practices to control this pathogen. In this work, we optimized and validated a dot blot platform, combined with automatic image analysis, to rapidly assess the population structure of infective S. uberis, and evaluated its efficiency when compared to multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) genotyping. Two dairy herds with prevalent S. uberis infections were followed in a 6 month period, in order to collect and characterize isolates from cows with persistent infections. These herds, located in Portugal (Barcelos and Maia regions), had similar management practices, with the herd from Barcelos being smaller and having a better milking parlor management, since infected cow segregation was immediate. A total of 54 S. uberis isolates were obtained from 24 different cows from the two herds. To overcome operator-dependent analysis of the dot blots and increase the technique's consistency and reliability, the hybridization signals were converted into probability values, with average probabilities higher than 0.5 being considered positive results. These data allowed to confirm the isolates' identity as S. uberis using taxa-specific markers and to determine the presence of virulence- and antibiotic resistance-related genes. In addition, MLSA allowed to disclose the most prevalent S. uberis clonal lineages in both herds. Seven different clusters were identified, with Barcelos showing a high clonal diversity and Maia a dominant lineage infecting most cows, suggesting distinct epidemiological patterns, with S. uberis displaying an environmental or contagious transmission pattern depending on the herd. Overall, this work showed the utility of dot blot and MLSA to characterize population structure and epidemiological patterns of mastitis-causing S. uberis. This approach allowed to disclose prevalent virulence patterns and clonal lineages of S. uberis in two distinct herds, and gain insights on the impact of herd management practices on pathogen population structure.|
Multilocus sequence analysis
|Source:||Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 8(54)|
|Document Type:||Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional|
|Appears in Collections:||ISPUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional|
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