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Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus canis, and Arcanobacterium phocae of healthy Canadian farmed mink and mink with pododermatitis

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Pododermatitis is a disease of concern for mink breeders in Canada and worldwide, as it causes discomfort and lowers the breeding rates on farms affected by the disease. Unfortunately, the etiology and pathogenesis of pododermatitis are still unknown. In this study, we compared Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus canis isolates from healthy mink with isolates from animals with pododermatitis on 2 farms in Ontario. Almost all hemolytic Staphylococcus spp. isolated were shown to be Staphylococcus delphini Group A by 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequence analysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) did not reveal any S. delphini or S. canis clonal lineages specifically associated with pododermatitis, which suggests that these bacteria do not act as primary pathogens, but does not dismiss their potential roles as opportunistic pathogens. While S. delphini and S. canis were the most prevalent bacterial pathogens in mink pododermatitis, they were also present in samples from healthy mink. Arcanobacterium phocae is occasionally isolated from pododermatitis cases, but is difficult to recover with conventional culture methods due to its slow growth. A quantitative real-time PCR was developed for the detection of A. phocae and was tested on 138 samples of footpad tissues from 14 farms. The bacterium was detected only in pododermatitis-endemic farms in Canada and was at higher concentrations in tissues from infected footpads than in healthy tissues. This finding suggests that A. phocae is involved in the pathogenesis of pododermatitis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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