Effects of Environmental and Management-Associated Factors on Prevalence and Diversity of Streptococcus suis in Clinically Healthy Pig Herds in China and the United Kingdom.

29 Mar 2018

Streptococcus suis, a global zoonosis of pigs, shows regional differences in the prevalence of human-associated disease for Asian and non-Asian countries. The isolation rates and diversities of S. suis on tonsils of healthy slaughter pigs in China and the United Kingdom were studied for effects of geography, temperature, pig age, and farm type. Isolates underwent analysis of molecular serotype and multilocus sequence type and virulence-associated genotyping. Although we found no significant difference in positive isolation rates between Chinese and UK farms, the prevalences of serotypes previously associated with human disease were significantly greater in the Chinese collection (P = 0.003). A significant effect of temperature was found on the positive isolation rate of the Chinese samples and the prevalence of human disease-associated serotypes in the UK S. suis population (China, P = 0.004; United Kingdom, P = 0.024) and on the prevalence of isolates carrying key virulence genes in China (P = 0.044). Finally, we found marked diversity among S. suis isolates, with statistically significant temperature effects on detection of multiple strain types within individual pigs. This study highlighted the high carriage prevalence and diversity of S. suis among clinically healthy pig herds of China and the United Kingdom. The significant effect of temperature on prevalence of isolation, human disease-associated serotypes, and diversity carried by individual pigs may shed new light on geographic variations in human S. suis-associated disease.IMPORTANCEStreptococcus suis is a global zoonotic pathogen and also a normal colonizer mainly carried on the tonsil of pigs. Thus, it is important to study the effect of environmental and management-associated factors on the S. suis populations in clinically healthy pigs. In this research, we investigated the similarities and differences between the S. suis populations obtained from different pig ages, seasons, and farm management systems and discovered the relationship between high climatic temperature and the prevalence of S. suis.