Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: Genetic characterization of midwest US isolates and live commercial vaccines using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis

T. Opriessnig, L.J. Hoffman, D.L. Harris, P.G. Halbur, S.B. Gaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the first report of molecular characterization of US erysipelas field isolates and vaccine strains of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Erysipelas in pigs is mainly caused by E. rhusiopathiae serotypes 1a, 1b, and 2. In 2001, erysipelas reemerged as a clinical problem in pigs in the midwestern United States. In this work 90 erysipelas isolates (58 recent and 28 archived field isolates as well as 4 live-vaccine strains) were genetically characterized. Because of the limited availability of antiserum, 74/90 isolates (44/58 recent isolates) were serotyped. The serotype of the majority (79.6%) of the 44 recent isolates tested was determined to be 1a, 13.6% were serotype 1b, and 6.8% of recent isolates were serologically untypeable. Among all 90 isolates, 23 different PFGE patterns were identified. There were 43 isolates identified as serotype la with 4 genetic patterns: 38/43, 1A(I); 3/43, 1A(III); 1/43, 1B(V); and 1/43, 3B. Sixteen serotype 1b isolates had 11 unique genetic patterns: 4/16 were genotype 1B(III), 2/16 were genotype 3A(I), and 1/16 was in genotype groups 1A(V), 1A(VI), 1A(VH), 1B(I), 1B(IV), 1B(VII), 2, 4, and 5. Six genetic patterns were distinguished among the 10 serotype 2 isolates: 1A(IV) (1/10), 1A(V) (1/10), 1B(VI) (1/10), 2 (4/10), 7 (1/10), and 8 (2/8). Erysipelas vaccine strains (modified live) were similar to each other but different from current field strains, sharing 78.6% identity with the most prevalent genotype 1A(I) based on the PFGE-SmaI pattern. Compared with serotyping, PFGE genotyping is a more distinguishing technique, easy to perform and not dependent on the limited availability of antiserum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004


  • Animals
  • Bacterial Vaccines/genetics
  • Bacterial Vaccines/immunology
  • DNA, Bacterial/chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial/genetics
  • Disease Outbreaks/veterinary
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field/veterinary
  • Erysipelothrix/genetics
  • Erysipelothrix/immunology
  • Erysipelothrix/isolation & purification
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests/veterinary
  • Midwestern United States/epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Serotyping/veterinary
  • Swine
  • Swine Erysipelas/epidemiology
  • Swine Erysipelas/microbiology
  • Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics
  • Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae: Genetic characterization of midwest US isolates and live commercial vaccines using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this