Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causes swine erysipelas, an important infectious disease in the swine industry. In Japan, the incidence of acute swine erysipelas due to E. rhusiopathiae serovar 1a has recently increased markedly. To study the genetic relatedness of the strains from the recent cases, we analyzed 34 E. rhusiopathiae serovar 1a swine isolates collected between 1990 and 2011 and further investigated the possible association of the live Koganei 65-0.15 vaccine strain (serovar 1a) with the increase in cases. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis revealed no marked variation among the isolates; however, sequencing analysis of a hypervariable region in the surface-protective antigen A gene (spaA) revealed that the strains isolated after 2007 exhibited the same spaA genotype and could be differentiated from older strains. Phylogenetic analysis based on genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) revealed that the Japanese strains examined were closely related, showing a relatively small number of SNPs among them. The strains were classified into four major lineages, with Koganei 65-0.15 (lineage III) being phylogenetically separated from the other three lineages. The strains isolated after 2007 and the two older strains constituted one major lineage (lineage IV) with a specific spaA genotype (M203/I257-SpaA), while the recent isolates were further divided into two geographic groups. The remaining older isolates belonged to either lineage I, with the I203/L257-SpaA type, or lineage II, with the I203/ I257-SpaA type. These results indicate that the recent increased incidence of acute swine erysipelas in Japan is associated with two sublineages of lineage IV, which have independently evolved in two different geographic regions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology