Brucella spp. distribution, hosting ruminants from Greece, applying various molecular identification techniques

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Background: Brucellosis still remains an endemic disease for both livestock and human in Greece, influencing the primary sector and national economy in general. Although farm animals and particularly ruminants constitute the natural hosts of the disease, transmission to humans is not uncommon, thus representing a serious occupational disease as well. Under this prism, knowledge concerning Brucella species distribution in ruminants is considered a high priority. There are various molecular methodologies for Brucella detection with however differential discriminant capacity. Hence, the aim of this survey was to achieve nationally Brucella epidemiology baseline genotyping data at species and subtype level, as well as to evaluate the pros and cons of different molecular techniques utilized for detection of Brucella species. Thirty-nine tissue samples from 30 domestic ruminants, which were found positive applying a screening PCR, were tested by four different molecular techniques i.e. sequencing of the 16S rRNA, the BP26 and the OMP31 regions, and the MLVA typing panel 1 assay of minisatellite markers. Results: Only one haplotype was revealed from the 16S rRNA sequencing analysis, indicating that molecular identification of Brucella bacteria based on this marker might be feasible solely up to genus level. BP26 sequencing analysis and MLVA were in complete agreement detecting both B. melitensis and B. abortus. An interesting exception was observed in 11 samples, of lower quality extracted DNA, in which not all expected MLVA amplicons were produced and identification was based on the remaining ones as well as on BP26. On the contrary OMP31 failed to provide a clear band in any of the examined samples. Conclusions: The present study reveals the constant circulation of Brucella bacteria in ruminants throughout Greece. Further, according to our results, BP26 gene represents a very good alternative to MLVA minisatellite assay, particularly in lower quality DNA samples.




Katsiolis, A., Papadopoulos, D. K., Giantsis, I. A., Papageorgiou, K., Zdragas, A., Giadinis, N. D., & Petridou, E. (2022). Brucella spp. distribution, hosting ruminants from Greece, applying various molecular identification techniques. BMC Veterinary Research, 18(1).

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