Impact of serotype and sequence type on the preferential aerosolization of Streptococcus suis

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Background: Streptococcus suis is a swine pathogen that causes pneumonia, septicemia and meningitis. It is also an important zoonotic agent responsible of several outbreaks in China. S. suis strains are classified into 35 serotypes based on the composition of their polysaccharide capsule. S. suis serotype 2 causes the majority of severe infections in pigs and in human, and can be further subdivided into sequence types (STs) based on multilocus sequence typing. The ST1 is associated with highly virulent strains. In North America, the strains most commonly isolated belong to ST25 and ST28, which are respectively moderately and weakly virulent in a mouse model. The presence of S. suis bioaerosols in the air of swine confinement buildings has been previously demonstrated. The aim of this study was to better understand the aerosolization behaviour of S. suis by investigating the preferential aerosolization of various strains of S. suis, belonging to different serotypes or STs, using in-house developed environmental chamber and bubble-burst nebulizer. qPCR technology was used to analyze the ratio of S. suis strains. Results: The results suggest that the highly virulent serotype 2 ST1 strains are preferentially aerosolized and that the S. suis preferential aerosolization is a strain-dependent process. Conclusion: These observations will need to be confirmed using a larger number of strains. This study is a proof of concept and increases our knowledge on the potential aerosol transmission of S. suis.




Gauthier-Levesque, L., Bonifait, L., Turgeon, N., Veillette, M., Perrott, P., Grenier, D., & Duchaine, C. (2016). Impact of serotype and sequence type on the preferential aerosolization of Streptococcus suis. BMC Research Notes, 9(1).

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