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Int J Med Microbiol. 2000 Dec;290(7):599-604.

Phylogenetic analysis of Pasteurella multocida subspecies and molecular identification of feline P. multocida subsp. septica by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern, Switzerland. peter.kuhnert@vbi.unibe.ch

Abstract

Pasteurella multocida is commonly found in the oral cavity of cats and dogs. In humans it is known as an opportunistic pathogen after bites from these animals. Phenotypic identification of P. multocida based on biochemical reactions is often limited and usually only done on a species level, even though 3 subspecies are described. For molecular taxonomy and diagnostic purposes a phylogenetic analysis of the three subspecies of P. multocida based on their 16S rRNA (rrs) gene sequence was therefore carried out. We found P. multocida subsp. septica on a distinguished branch on the phylogenetic tree of Pasteurellaceae, due to a 1.5% divergence of its rrs gene compared to the two other, more closely related subspecies multocida and gallicida. This phylogenetic divergence can be used for the identification of P. multocida subsp. septica by rrs gene determination since they form a phylogenetically well isolated and defined group as shown with a set of feline isolates. Comparison to routine phenotypic identification shows the advantage of the sequence-based identification over conventional methods. It is therefore helpful for future unambiguous identification and molecular taxonomy of P. multocida as well as for epidemiological investigations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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