2012 Volume 74 Issue 7 Pages 949-953
The objective of the present study was to characterize Erysipelothrix sp. strains from recent erysipelas outbreaks in Japan. Eighty-three (100%) strains were identified as E. rhusiopathiae, based on serotyping and spaA PCR. Fifty (60.3%), 5 (6.0%), and 28 (33.7%) strains were isolated from animals with acute, subacute and chronic outbreaks, respectively, of which 79 (95.2%), 1 (1.2%), and 3 (3.6%) belonged to serotypes 1a, 2a, and untypeable, respectively. Fifteen strains (including 3, 2, and 10 from acute, subacute, and chronic cases, respectively) were sensitive to acriflavine, and showed high levels of virulence in mice; of which strains from acute cases, and from subacute and chronic cases killed 100%, and 80 to 100% mice, respectively at challenge doses of 102 CFU per mouse. Based on sequence analysis of a 432-bp hypervariable region in spaA gene, 83 strains could be divided into 3 groups: (i) group 1 (3 strains of serotype 1a) had Ala-195 and Ile-203; (ii) group 2 (76 strains of serotype 1a and 3 of untypeable) had Asp-195 and Met-203; and (iii) group 3 (one strain of serotype 2a) had Asn-195 and Ile-203. The results of the present study suggest that the serotype 1a strains belonging to the group 2 might be widespread in pig populations in Japan.