Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Comparative virulence of clinical Brachyspira spp. isolates in inoculated pigs.

Abstract

Classical swine dysentery is associated with the presence of the strongly beta-hemolytic Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. However, multiple Brachyspira spp. can colonize the porcine colon. Since 2008, several Brachyspira spp. not identified as B. hyodysenteriae by genotypic and/or phenotypic methods have been isolated from the feces of pigs with clinical disease typical of swine dysentery. In the current study, 8 clinical isolates, including 5 strongly beta-hemolytic and 3 weakly beta-hemolytic Brachyspira strains, and a reference strain of B. hyodysenteriae (B204) were inoculated into pigs (n=6 per isolate) to compare pathogenic potential following oral inoculation. Results revealed that strongly beta-hemolytic isolates induced significantly greater typhlocolitis than those that are weakly beta-hemolytic, regardless of the genetic identification of the isolate, and that strongly beta-hemolytic isolates identified as "Brachyspira sp. SASK30446" and Brachyspira intermedia by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) produced lesions similar to those caused by B. hyodysenteriae. The results suggest that phenotypic culture characteristics of Brachyspira spp. may be a more sensitive indicator of potential to induce dysentery-like disease in pigs than molecular identification alone based on currently available PCR assays. Additionally, culture of mucosal scrapings obtained at necropsy was more sensitive than direct PCR on the same samples for detection of Brachyspira spp.