Outbreaks of bloody diarrhea in swine herds in the late 2000s signaled the reemergence of an economically significant disease, swine dysentery, in the United States. Investigations confirmed the emergence of a novel spirochete in swine, provisionally designated "Brachyspira hampsonii," with two genetically distinct clades. Although it has since been detected in swine and migratory birds in Europe and North America, little is known about its genetic diversity or its relationships with other Brachyspira species. This study characterizes B. hampsonii using a newly developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach and elucidates the diversity, distribution, population structure, and genetic relationships of this pathogen from diverse epidemiological sources globally. Genetic characterization of 81 B. hampsonii isolates, originating from six countries, with our newly established MLST scheme identified a total of 20 sequence types (STs) belonging to three clonal complexes (CCs). B. hampsonii showed a heterogeneous population structure with evidence of microevolution locally in swine production systems, while its clustering patterns showed associations with its epidemiological origins (country, swine production system, and host species). The close genetic relatedness of B. hampsonii isolates from different countries and host species highlights the importance of strict biosecurity control measures. A comparative analysis of 430 isolates representing seven Brachyspira species (pathogens and commensals) from 19 countries and 10 host species depicted clustering by microbial species. It revealed the close genetic relatedness of B. hampsonii with commensal Brachyspira species and also provided support for the two clades of B. hampsonii to be considered a single species.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.