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Pig Journal Volume: 68
Publication date: May 2013

General Section

Preliminary findings on the use of multi-locus sequence typing (mlst) to investigate outbreaks of swine dysentery in northern england
B.W. Strugnell, R.J. Ellis, J.R Thomson, A. Steventon, C.J. Teale, S.M. Williamson, H. Clarke, K.L Goodyear, L. Wall

Abstract
In response to an outbreak of swine dysentery in a region of northern England featuring significant antimicrobial resistance in some isolates, a cluster of concerned producers was established under the British Pig Executive (BPEX)’s Pig Health Improvement Programme (PHIP) aiming to promote collaborative actions to improve pig health. In this case the aim was to tackle a swine dysentery outbreak. It was agreed that genetic sequencing to characterise isolates would be beneficial to better understand the outbreak epidemiology, and Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) was performed on a series of isolates from the outbreak. This technique, which offers the ability to type isolates to sub-species level, similar to Salmonella or Escherichia coli (E. coli) serotyping (although considered more discriminatory), did prove useful in characterising the epidemiology of the outbreak. Until the diversity and relative frequency of occurrence of different MLST types of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, (B. hyodysenteriae) both within and between units, has been established for the Great Britain (GB) pig population, MLST may currently be of more use in disproving epidemiological link(s) than in confirming such links; the latter may require more discriminatory techniques such as whole-genome sequencing.

 
 
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