Genetic diversity and virulence genes in Streptococcus uberis strains isolated from bovine mastitis

Rafael Ambrósio Loures, Ulisses de Pádua Pereira, Glei dos Anjos de Carvalho-Castro, Gláucia Frasnelli Mian, Dircéia Aparecida da Costa Custódio, Juliana Rosa da Silva, Geraldo Márcio da Costa


Mastitis is one of the most common and costly infectious diseases in dairy cattle worldwide. This is a multifactorial illness caused by different microorganisms, including virus, yeasts, algae, parasites, and several species of bacteria. Among these bacteria, Streptococcus uberis is an important environmental pathogen that is responsible for a large range of clinical and subclinical mammary infections, especially in intensively managed herds. Despite the increasing importance of this pathogen in the etiology of bovine mastitis, data on its virulence and diversity in Brazilian dairy herds are scarce. The aims of the present study were to investigate the virulence characteristics of S. uberis isolated from bovine mastitis and to assess the molecular epidemiology of the Brazilian isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In this work, 46 strains of S. uberis isolated from bovine mastitis from 26 Brazilian dairy herds were evaluated regarding their genetic diversity by PFGE using with the SmaI enzyme. Additionally, the presence of the virulence genes skc and pauA, which encode plasminogen activators, and the gene sua, which encodes an adhesion molecule in mammary epithelial cells, were assessed by PCR. Our results showed a high genetic diversity in the population, displaying many different patterns in the PFGE analysis. A high proportion of strains was positive for virulence genes in the sampled population (sua [100%], pauA [91%], and skc [91%]). The high frequency of skc, pauA, and sua genes among the studied strains suggests the importance of these virulence factors, possibly helping S. uberis in the colonization of the bovine mammary gland. Surveys of the genetic and molecular characteristics of this pathogen can improve our knowledge of bacterial activity and identify molecules that have roles in the establishment of the infection. This might help in the development of more effective measures to control and prevent bovine mastitis.


Bovine diseases; Environmental Streptococci; Intramammary infections; PFGE; Streptococci virulence.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional