Genotyping of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC by multilocus sequence analysis allows molecular epidemiology of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia

  • Yaya A
  • Manso-Silván L
  • Blanchard A
 et al. 
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Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC (MmmSC) is the etiological agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). Although eradicated in most developed countries, the disease reappeared in Europe in the 1990s. This reappearance may have been caused either by importation from sub-Saharan Africa, where CBPP is still endemic, or by the reemergence of virulent strains in Europe, as suggested by earlier studies. A multilocus sequence analysis scheme has been developed to address this issue and, most importantly, to be able to monitor new epidemics. The alignment of the full genome sequence of the reference strain PG1 and the partial genome sequence of a pathogenic strain allowed the identification of polymorphic sites. Nineteen initial loci were selected within housekeeping genes, genes of unknown function and non coding sequences. The suitability of these loci for genotyping MmmSC strains was first tested on six strains of diverse geographic origin. The analyses showed that the published PG1 sequence contained a number of specific polymorphisms that were therefore of no use for molecular typing. Among the eight informative polymorphic loci finally selected, only one (ftsY) was positioned within a housekeeping gene. Three main groups and 31 different allelic profiles were identified among 51 strains and strain variants examined. Cluster analysis confirmed that European strains from the 1990s did not originate from Africa. It also showed a genetic link between a European strain isolated in 1967 and those found in southern Africa and Australia. This was in agreement with historical data showing that CBPP was introduced in these regions during colonisation in the 19th century.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Multilocus sequence analysis
  • Mycoplasma mycoides

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  • Aboubakar Yaya

  • Lucía Manso-Silván

  • Alain Blanchard

  • François Thiaucourt

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