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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Sep 15;69(3):217-24.

Genotyping of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis.

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Institut für Tierärztliche Nahrungsmittelkunde, Bakteriologie und Hygiene der Milch, der Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany.


The present study was designed to comparatively investigate 25 Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from bovine subclinical mastitis. The S. aureus strains, obtained from six different farms at five locations in one region of Germany, were characterized by phenotypic and genotypic methods. The S. aureus could be identified and further characterized by their cultural, biochemical and hemolytic properties. To analyze the epidemiological relationship the isolates were subjected to DNA fingerprinting by macrorestriction analysis of their chromosomal DNA, by PCR amplification of the gene encoding the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer, by PCR amplification of the gene encoding the IgG binding region and the X region of protein A and by amplifying, and subsequent, digestion of the gene encoding staphylococcal coagulase. The macrorestriction analysis revealed five DNA restriction patterns with DNA patterns I, III and IV occurring in three, four, and three different farms, respectively. In addition, clones with different DNA patterns could be found within one herd. The PCR products for the spacer DNA, the spa gene encoding the X region of protein A and the coa gene encoding coagulase corresponded mostly to the pattern observed by DNA fingerprinting. Amplification of the gene encoding the IgG binding region revealed sizes of 620 bp for 20 of the isolates and 280 bp for four isolates indicating, for the latter, a deletion of segments in this region. These findings show, that single, widely distributed clones seemed to be responsible for cases of bovine subclinical mastitis found in one region of Germany.

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