Scientists Respond to Global emergence of New Pathogenic Streptococcus Zooepidemicus Serotype

Farmscape for October 10, 2023

Full Interview 10:41 Listen

A scientist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests the global emergence of a new pathogenic Streptococcus zooepidemicus serotype will force diagnosticians to change the way they look at identifying the infection. Scientists with the Western College of veterinary Medicine are now responding to the global emergence of a second virulent sequence type of Streptococcus zooepidemicus.

Strep zoo is known to cause strangles in horses but for pigs, it had been considered a common part of their microbiomes however in 2019 a pathogenic serotype, sequence type-194, was identified as causing severe disease in pigs in Canada resulting in high mortality. Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at Utrecht University, says ST-194 has since been detected in every continent and now a second virulent serotype has been identified.

Quote-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:

We don’t know a lot yet. All of our information comes from clinical outbreaks, outbreaks in the field.
We are investigating right now under controlled conditions but it appears to cause disease just like ST-194 so all ages of pigs may be affected. Clinical presentation is very similar. It is a septicemic disease. It is a severe as ST-194.

We don’t have any indicators so far to think that it’s a somewhat attenuated version of ST-194 and we also have evidence to support the fact that it doesn’t seem to simply go away. Antimicrobial usage may suppress clinical signs but you can’t really clean the herds just based on antibiotics. There is a lot we need to learn when it comes to these new sequence types that are emerging and we need to make sure we can also identify it quickly.

Dr. Costa suggests, now we need new tests that will detect any Strep zoo, not only ST-194.He says, by using a very specific test, we may be underestimating Strep zoo with this new serotype emerging and causing disease.

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