Comparison of atypical Brachyspira spp. clinical isolates and classic strains in a mouse model of swine dysentery.
Multiple Brachyspira spp. can colonize the porcine colon, and the presence of the strongly beta-hemolytic Brachyspira hyodysenteriae is typically associated with clinical swine dysentery. Recently, several Brachyspira spp. have been isolated from the feces of pigs with clinical disease suggestive of swine dysentery, yet these isolates were not identified as B. hyodysenteriae by genotypic or phenotypic methods. This study used a mouse model of swine dysentery to compare the pathogenic potential of seventeen different Brachyspira isolates including eight atypical clinical isolates, six typical clinical isolates, the standard strain of B. hyodysenteriae (B204), and reference strains of Brachyspira intermedia and Brachyspira innocens. Results revealed that strongly beta-hemolytic isolates induced significantly greater cecal inflammation than weakly beta-hemolytic isolates regardless of the genetic identification of the isolate, and that strongly beta-hemolytic isolates identified as 'Brachyspira sp. SASK30446' and B. intermedia by PCR produced lesions indistinguishable from those caused by B. hyodysenteriae in this model.