Erysipelothrix spp. genotypes, serotypes, and surface protective antigen types associated with abattoir condemnations

J.S. Bender, C.K. Irwin, H.-G. Shen, K.J. Schwartz, T. Opriessnig

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The objective of the current study was to investigate characteristics of Erysipelothrix spp. from slaughter condemnations. Specimens from 70 carcasses with lesions suspect for swine erysipelas were collected at an abattoir in Iowa from October 2007 to February 2009. Erysipelothrix spp. were isolated from 59 of 70 carcasses (84.3%). Abattoir inspectors classified lesions as acute, subacute, or chronic; 8 of 8 (100%) were acute cases, 31 of 32 (96.9%) were subacute cases, and 20 of 30 (66.6%) were chronic cases that were isolation positive. The following serotypes were identified: 1a (40.7%; 24/59), 2 (49.2%; 29/59), 7 (1/59), 10 (1/59), 11 (1/59), and untypeable (5.1%; 3/59). Serotypes 1a and 2 were identified in pigs with acute, subacute, or chronic clinical manifestations, whereas serotypes 7, 10, and 11 were only present in chronic cases. Fifty-seven of the 59 isolates were determined to belong to E. rhusiopathiae, and 2 of 59 of the isolates were determined to be E. tonsillarum by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction. Surface protective antigen (spa) A was detected in all E. rhusiopathiae isolates but not in E. tonsillarum serotypes 7 and 10. The results of the present study indicate that E. rhusiopathiae serotypes 1a and 2 continue to be commonly isolated from condemned pig carcasses and that spaA is the exclusive spa type in U.S. abattoir isolates. Interestingly, E. tonsillarum, thought to be avirulent for swine, was isolated from systemic sites from 3.4% of the carcasses that were negative for E. rhusiopathiae, indicating the potential importance of this genotype in erysipelas pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-142
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Abattoirs
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial/chemistry
  • Antigens, Bacterial/genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins/chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial/chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial/genetics
  • Erysipelothrix/classification
  • Erysipelothrix/genetics
  • Erysipelothrix/isolation & purification
  • Iowa/epidemiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary
  • Serotyping/veterinary
  • Swine
  • Swine Erysipelas/epidemiology
  • Swine Erysipelas/microbiology


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