Genotypic characterization of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from rabbit lesions
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Since staphylococcal infections are the main pathological problem in rabbit does, the objective of this study was to characterize epidemiologically Staphylococcus aureus isolates from different lesion types in rabbits. Using 3 genetic markers (coagulase, staphylococcal protein A and clumping factor B genes), 22 different genotypes were identified among 301 isolates recovered from 259 rabbit does with 10 different kinds of chronic purulent lesions. These infected rabbits were obtained from 30 herds located in the Valencia province on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. The most frequent genotype was designated A1/II1/delta (coa/spa/clfB combination genotype) and represented 70.76% of the isolates. Although most genotypes were previously identified in other countries, novel types were also documented. No specificity between genotypes and nature of the pathologic process could be identified. After genetic comparison between strains from different origins, the results may suggest that rabbit, bovine and human S. aureus isolates are not clonally related, suggesting that specific host-dependent pathogenic factors may have evolved independently in these species. These differences indicate that a rational and effective strategy to control infections caused by rabbit-specific isolates may be advantageous. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.