1887

Abstract

In recent years several new staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) have been described, which currently have largely unknown frequencies of occurrence and roles in human or animal disease. One hundred and ninety-one isolates from cows (99), goats (39), sheep (23), rabbits (15), chickens (15) and a cat (1) were screened for SE genes , and and for the gene encoding staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 using multiplex PCRs and individual PCRs for the and genes. One hundred and ten isolates tested positive for at least one of these 16 superantigen (SAg)-encoding genes. There were statistically significant differences in the frequencies of some of these SAg genes between isolates from different animals. No strain possessed either the or gene. The gene was present in 51 isolates, the gene in eight and the gene in one. The gene was found in four strains and the and genes together in one isolate. The most common combinations of genes were the cluster, bearing the , , , and genes, in 47 isolates, the , and gene combination typical of the SaPIbov pathogenicity island in 44 isolates, the cluster lacking the gene in 11 isolates, the and genes in nine isolates, and the and genes without the gene in seven isolates. The higher frequencies of the and genes together and the lower frequencies of the gene cluster among the SAg gene-positive sheep or goat isolates compared to bovine isolates were statistically significant. Of 36 bovine isolates that were mitogenic for human T lymphocytes, four were negative for the 16 SAg genes tested for, while a further 14 gave borderline results in the mitogenicity assay, 12 of which were SAg gene-negative. Twenty-nine strains lacking all the SAg genes did not induce T-cell proliferation. This survey indicates that novel SE genes , , , , and along with the and genes predominate in from animal hosts. The mitogenicity assays indicate that further uncharacterized SAgs may be present in bovine isolates.

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2005-04-01
2019-11-13
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