Journal Article

Dissemination of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G (spegg) with an IS-like element in fish isolates of Streptococcus dysgalactiae

Mohamed Abdelsalam, Shih-Chu Chen and Terutoyo Yoshida

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

Volume 309, issue 1, pages 105-113
Published in print August 2010 |
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1574-6968 | DOI:

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The Lancefield group C α-hemolytic Streptococcus dysgalactiae ssp. dysgalactiae (GCSD) causes systemic granulomatous inflammatory disease and high mortality rates in infected fish. Superantigen and streptolysin S genes are the most important virulence factors contributing to an invasive streptococcal infection. PCR amplification revealed that all strains isolated from moribund fish harbored the streptolysin S structural gene (sagA). GCSD fish isolates were PCR negative for emm, speA, speB, speC, speM, smeZ, and ssa. However, the size of the streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G (spegg) locus, a superantigen, in positive S. dysgalactiae fish and pig strains was variable. The ORF of the spegg locus of 26 GCSD fish strains and one GCSD pig strain was inserted with IS981SC. Interestingly, the ORF of the spegg locus of two fish strains of GCSD collected in Malaysia was inserted with an IS981SC–IS1161 hybrid IS element. The hybrid IS element was found in all of the GCSD fish isolates and one GCSD pig through PCR screening. Although no insertion sequence (IS) was detected in the spegg locus of S. dysgalactiae ssp. equisimilis (GCSE) strains, a five-nucleotide deletion mutation was detected in the ORF of the spegg locus of one GCSE strain at the supposed site of IS981SC insertion, resulting in a frameshift mutation.

Keywords: superantigen; streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G (spegg); streptolysin S (sagA); insertion sequence

Journal Article.  4252 words.  Illustrated.

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