Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
The occurrence of abscess disease, caseous lymphadenitis, and pulmonary adenomatosis in sheep in Denmark is reported for the first time. Subcutaneous abscesses were observed in imported 4- to 5-month-old lambs of the Lacaune breed 10 days after arrival in Denmark. Abscesses were mostly located in the head, neck and shoulder regions close to the regional lymph nodes. Bacteriological examinations revealed growth of Staphylococcus aureus ssp. anaerobius in all animals with subcutaneously located abscesses containing a viscous white-yellow odourless mass. In addition, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis was isolated from abscesses in one animal and lesions consistent with pulmonary adenomatosis were found in four animals.
Due to increasing resistance to chemical therapeutants, the use of 'cleaner fish' (primarily wrasse, Labridae, species) has become popular in European salmon farming for biocontrol of the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer). While being efficient de-licers, cleaner fish mortality levels in salmon cages are commonly high, and systemic bacterial infections constitute a major problem. Atypical furunculosis, caused by Aeromonas salmonicida A-layer types V and VI, is among the most common diagnoses reached in clinical investigations. A previously described real-time PCR (qPCR), targeting the A. salmonicida A-layer gene (vapA), was modified and validated for specific and sensitive detection of all presently recognized A-layer types of this bacterium. Before stocking and during episodes of increased mortality in salmon cages, cleaner fish (primarily wild-caught wrasse) were sampled and screened for A. salmonicida by qPCR and culture. Culture indicated that systemic bacterial infections are mainly contracted after salmon farm stocking, and qPCR revealed A. salmonicida prevalences of approximately 4% and 68% in pre- and post-stocked cleaner fish, respectively. This underpins A. salmonicida's relevance as a contributing factor to cleaner fish mortality and emphasizes the need for implementation of preventive measures (e.g. vaccination) if current levels of cleaner fish use are to be continued or expanded.
In this study, we investigated recent sheep pox outbreaks that occurred in Ononsky and Borzunsky regions of Zabajkalskij kray of Russia. The outbreaks involved in 2756 animals of which 112 were infected and 3 were slaughtered. Samples of injured skin of infected sheep were analysed by electron microscopy and CaPV-specific P32 gene amplification. Following sequence analysis of entire P32 gene showed that both specimens were identical to the sequence of several sheep poxvirus isolates from China and India. The close location of China to the last decade's Russian outbreaks suggest that possible future outbreaks in Russia could occur along the border regions with countries where sheep and goat pox are not controlled.
This study was undertaken to determine the in vitro susceptibility of Clostridium perfringens, isolated from poultry to antimicrobials used in poultry production. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of eight antimicrobials, including the ionophoric coccidiostat narasin, was determined for 102 C. perfringens isolates, 58 from Sweden, 24 from Norway and 20 from Denmark. Susceptibility to each antimicrobial compound was determined by broth microdilution. The isolates were obtained from broilers (89), laying hens (9) and turkeys (4), affected by necrotic enteritis (NE) or by C. perfringens associated hepatitis (CPH), and from healthy broilers. All strains, regardless of origin, proved inherently susceptible to ampicillin, narasin, avilamycin, erythromycin and vancomycin. A low frequency of resistance to virginiamycin and bacitracin was also found. Resistance to tetracycline was found in strains isolated in all three countries; Sweden (76%), Denmark (10%) and Norway (29%). In 80% of the tetracycline-resistant isolates, the two resistance genes tetA(P) and tetB(P) were amplified by PCR whereas in 20% only the tetA(P) gene was detected. No tetM gene amplicon was obtained from any of the tetracycline-resistant isolates. The uniform susceptibility to narasin revealed in this study shows that the substance can still be used to control clostridiosis. In this study, C. perfringens also showed a low degree of resistance to most other antimicrobials tested. Despite the small amounts of tetracycline used in poultry, a considerable degree of resistance to tetracycline was found in C. perfringens isolates from Swedish broilers.
Infection with Brucella spp., long known as a cause of abortion, infertility, and reproductive loss in domestic livestock, has increasingly been documented in marine mammals over the past two decades. We report molecular evidence of Brucella infection in Asian sea otters (Enhydra lutris lutris). Brucella DNA was detected in 3 of 78 (4%) rectal swab samples collected between 2004 and 2006 on Bering Island, Russia. These 78 animals had previously been documented to have a Brucella seroprevalence of 28%, markedly higher than the prevalence documented in sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in North America. All of the DNA sequences amplified were identical to one or more previously isolated Brucella spp. including strains from both terrestrial and marine hosts. Phylogenetic analysis of this sequence suggested that one animal was shedding Brucella spp. DNA with a sequence matching a Brucella abortus strain, whereas two animals yielded a sequence matching a group of strains including isolates classified as Brucella pinnipedialis and Brucella melitensis. Our results highlight the diversity of Brucella spp. within a single sea otter population.
Brucellosis is a highly infectious zoonotic disease but rare in Sweden. Nonetheless, an outbreak of canine brucellosis caused by an infected dog imported to Sweden was verified in 2013. In total 25 dogs were tested at least duplicated by the following approaches: real-time PCR for the detection of Brucella canis, a Brucella genus-specific real-time PCR, selective cultivation, and microscopic examination. The whole genome of B. canis strain SVA13 was analysed regarding genetic markers for epidemiological examination. The genome of an intact prophage of Roseobacter was detected in B. canis strain SVA13 with whole genome sequence prophage analysis (WGS-PA). It was shown that the prophage gene content in the American, African and European isolates differs remarkably from the Asian strains. The prophage sequences in Brucella may therefore serve of use as genetic markers in epidemiological investigations. Phage DNA fragments were also detected in clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in the genome of strain SVA13. In addition to the recommendations for genetic markers in Brucella outbreak tracing, our paper reports a validated two-step stand-alone real-time PCR for the detection of B. canis and its first successful use in an outbreak investigation.
Fifty six Danish streptomycin (Sm) resistant isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium from pigs (n=34), calves (n=3) and humans (n=19) were characterised with respect to co-resistances (14 drugs), transferability of Sm-resistance by conjugation, genetic determinants encoding Sm-resistance and diversity with respect to localisation of genes in the genome and DNA-sequences. Forty-six strains carried resistance(s) other than Sm-resistance. Nineteen different co-resistance patterns were observed and tetracycline was the most commonly observed resistance in these patterns. In 22 of the strains, Sm-resistance was transferred by conjugation. Eleven strains contained the gene aadA only, six strains contained aadA+strA+strB, and 35 strains contained strA+strB. Partial sequences of aadA were obtained from four strains. Three strains showed identical sequences to a published aadA sequence from the transposon Tn7, and in one strain the sequence showed one synonymous substitution compared to this sequence. Partial sequences were obtained of strA and strB in seven strains. The sequence of strB was identical to the published sequence of the plasmid RSF1010 in all strains. All seven sequences of strA were identical and differed from the sequence of strA in RSF1010 by two non-synonymous substitutions.
Chlamydia psittaci in birds may be transmitted to humans and cause respiratory infections, sometimes as severe disease. Our study investigated the C. psittaci prevalence in migratory birds in Sweden by real-time PCR. Fecal specimens or cloacal swabs were collected from 497 birds from 22 different species, mainly mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), at two bird observatories in Sweden. DNA from C psittaci was found in six (1.2%) birds from three different species. Five of the positive specimens were infected with four novel strains of C. psittaci, based on sequencing of partial 16S rRNA gene and ompA gene, and the sixth was indentified as a recently described Chlamydiaceae-like bacterium. Considering exposure to humans it is concluded that the risk of zoonotic infection is low.
Babesiosis is a severe disease in cattle worldwide. In Europe, the main causative agent of bovine babesiosis is Babesia divergens. In some areas, this species is reported to have declined or even disappeared, and its etiological role overtaken by other piroplasmid species. Moreover, co-infection with other tick-transmitted pathogens can be expected to complicate diagnosis in cattle. Hence, molecular identification of the causative agent of babesiosis should be a priority. Therefore, samples from 71 domestic cattle, 39 with clinical signs of babesiosis and 32 without, from southern Sweden were screened for Babesia spp. and Anaplasma spp. using molecular methods Babesia divergens was detected in 38 of the samples, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 17. Co-infections with both pathogens were frequent, occurring in 18% of the animals with a B. divergens infection. The possibility of co-infection should be considered in diagnosis and treatment of bovine babesiosis.