Whole Genome Sequencing Shows 2019 and 2021 Strep Zoo Outbreaks Caused by Different Strains

Farmscape for May 17, 2022

Full Interview 8:13 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center reports outbreaks of Strep zoo in Ohio and Tennessee in 2019 and in Indiana in 2021 were caused by different strains. High mortality events resulting from Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus in Ohio and Tennessee in September and October 2019 followed by increased sow death loss on a farm in Indiana in February 2021 triggered a whole genome sequencing analysis to determine whether isolates from those two situations were the same. Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says the analysis showed they were different.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Certainly, there’s many different types and kinds of Strep zoo out in the countryside. This is an example of the difference between those bacteria and that means that those outbreaks in Indiana were generically distinct from the outbreaks in Ohio and Tennessee. To put it in simple terms, what we don’t have is we don’t have one bacteria species that is moving around the country. What we do have is we have different pockets of this bacteria species that are unique, that are different. That means that, as far as emerging and response goes, that there’s a different type of response to different pockets of bacteria than it would be if we had one moving around the country. Those sources of bacteria are different in different areas of the country so we don’t have to look at common sources and look at movement of bacteria from one place to another but we can address each outbreak as individual and each outbreak as its own unit.

Dr. Sundberg suggests the investigation provides a picture into the characterization of the bacteria and the genetic diversity that we have.
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