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Rapid detection of Serpulina hyodysenteriae in diagnostic specimens by PCR.

By R O Elder, G E Duhamel, R W Schafer, M R Mathiesen and M Ramanathan


A PCR assay for the detection of Serpulina hyodysenteriae in diagnostic specimens was developed on the basis of sequence analysis of a recombinant clone designated pRED3C6. Clone pRED3C6, which contained a 2.3-kb DNA fragment unique to S. hyodysenteriae, was identified by screening a plasmid library of S. hyodysenteriae isolate B204 genomic DNA in Escherichia coli by colony immunoblot with the mouse monoclonal antibody 10G6/G10, which was produced against cell-free supernatant antigens from the same isolate. Southern blot analysis of HindIII-digested genomic DNA of S. hyodysenteriae serotypes 1 through 7 and of four weakly beta-hemolytic intestinal spirochetes, including Serpulina innocens, with the 2.3-kb DNA fragment of pRED3C6 indicated that the cloned sequence was present exclusively in the seven serotypes of S. hyodysenteriae. An oligonucleotide primer pair for PCR amplification of a 1.55-kb fragment and an internal oligonucleotide probe were designed and synthesized on the basis of sequence analysis of the 2.3-kb DNA fragment of pRED3C6. Purified genomic DNAs from reference isolates of S. hyodysenteriae serotypes 1 through 9, S. innocens, weakly beta-hemolytic intestinal spirochetes belonging to genotypic groups distinct from those of reference Serpulina spp., other cultivable reference isolates of the order Spirochaetales, and enteric bacteria including Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and Bacteroides vulgatus were amplified with the oligonucleotide primer pair in a hot-start PCR. The 1.55-kb products were obtained only in the presence of genomic DNA from each of the nine serotypes of S. hyodysenteriae. The specificity of the 1.55-kb products for S. hyodysenteriae was confirmed on the basis of production of a restriction endonuclease pattern of the PCR products identical to the predicted restriction map analysis of pRED3C6 and positive hybridization signal with the S. hyodysenteriae-specific internal oligonucleotide probe. By using total DNA obtained from normal swine feces inoculated with decreasing concentrations of S. hyodysenteriae cells, the sensitivity of the PCR assay was calculated to be between 1 and 10 organisms per 0.1 g of feces. The PCR assay was 1,000 times more sensitive than conventional culture of dysenteric feces on selective medium. There was complete agreement between the results of PCR assays and anaerobic culture on selective agar medium with diagnostic specimen (n = 9) obtained from six farms on which there were cases with clinical signs suggestive of swine dysentery. Detection of S. hyodysenteriae by PCR amplification of DNA has great potential for rapid identification of S. hyodysenteriae in diagnostic specimens

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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