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Distribution of virF/lcrF-positive Yersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype O:3 at farm level.

  • Niskanen, T
  • Laukkanen, R
  • Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M
  • Korkeala, H
Published Article
Zoonoses and public health
Publication Date
May 01, 2008
DOI: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2008.01113.x
PMID: 18387143


The distribution and persistence of pathogenic, virF/lcrF-positive Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were investigated in pigs and in the pig house environment during rearing to determine possible contamination routes of early infections. Based on Y. pseudotuberculosis-positive tonsils of slaughter pigs in our previous study, Y. pseudotuberculosis-positive animals were traced back to the farms. Eight farms were visited from 6-10 months later, and a total of 155 pooled and six individual faecal samples from pigs and 116 pooled environmental samples were collected for analysis by different culture methods. Four of the eight farms were found to be Y. pseudotuberculosis-positive. All positive faecal samples were obtained from fattening pigs, with prevalence varying from 5% to 71% on positive farms. Sows, boars and suckling piglets were Y. pseudotuberculosis-negative on all farms. Most Y. pseudotuberculosis-positive farms (three of four) were on a one-site production system, which had a higher prevalence of Y. pseudotuberculosis (5-26%) among fattening pigs than the all-in, all-out system (1-5%). All Y. pseudotuberculosis isolates belonged to serotype O:3 and carried the virF/lcrF gene on the virulence plasmid. Biotypes 2 and 3 were involved, the latter in one isolate and not being previously reported in pigs. Altogether 53 isolates from 16 positive samples were characterized with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Using SpeI, NotI and XbaI enzymes, four, three and two different PFGE patterns were obtained respectively. A total of nine different genotypes were identified when the profiles of the enzymes were combined. The most common genotypes were gIV, found on three, and gXII, found on two of the four Y. pseudotuberculosis-positive farms. The same genotypes previously detected in pig tonsils were present in pig faeces from the same farm, indicating that some Y. pseudotuberculosis strains can persist in the pig house environment.

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