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First Report of Genetic Variability of Erysipelothrix sp. Strain 2 in Turkeys Associated to Vero Cells Morphometric Alteration.

Pathogens 2021 Februrary 2
Erysipelas is a disease caused by the Erysipelothrix genus, whose main species is the E. rhusiopathiae , the causative agent of animal erysipelas and human erysipeloid. We isolated Erysipelothrix sp. strain 2 (ES2) from turkey's organs during an outbreak in Brazilian commercial and breeder flocks with sepsis and high mortality levels. We studied 18 flocks, accounting for 182 samples, being eight flocks (84 samples) as ES2 positive with individuals demonstrating clinical symptoms and high mortality. We obtained the genetic variability of 19 samples with PFGE and found two clones, both from the same flock but different samples, and two clusters. Interestingly, we found 15 strains with high genetic variability among and within flocks. We have found a positive association between the proximity of ES2 positive turkey flocks and commercial swine sites through epidemiological analysis. We infected Vero cells with two different isolates and three distinct concentrations of ES2. After performing the morphometry, we recorded enlargement of the nucleus and nucleolus. Moreover, we performed fluorescence assays that resulted in apoptotic and necrotic cells. We demonstrated that ES2 could multiply in the extracellular medium and invade and survive inside Vero cells. For the first time, our finds show that ES2 may have similar behavior as E. rhusiopathiae as a facultative intracellular microorganism, which may represent a hazard for humans.

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