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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Jun 15;115(1-3):237-42. Epub 2006 Feb 10.

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of Campylobacter jejuni sheep abortion isolates.

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Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Private Bag 11222, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Campylobacter species are a significant cause of sheep abortion in most sheep-raising countries. In New Zealand, Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus is the leading cause of diagnosed sheep abortion and the species C. jejuni and C. coli have also been implicated. To date, strain typing information of C. jejuni sheep abortion isolates is limited. The objective of the present study was to genotype C. jejuni isolates cultured from sheep abortions submitted to diagnostic laboratories in New Zealand during the 2000 breeding season, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In this study, C. jejuni isolates were cultured from approximately 10% of farms from which Campylobacter species were isolated from sheep abortions in the year 2000. This equated to 25 C. jejuni isolates from 21 farms. These isolates were obtained from the veterinary diagnostic laboratories and strain typed using the molecular typing technique PFGE. Ten distinct PFGE types were identified amongst the isolates. No particular PFGE type was found most frequently amongst these C. jejuni sheep abortion isolates. However, indistinguishable or similar C. jejuni PFGE types were identified from different aborted foetuses from the same flock, consistent with the role of C. jejuni as an infectious cause of abortion in sheep. These strain types were similar or indistinguishable from C. jejuni sheep abortion isolates obtained in 1999 in a smaller study (Mannering, S.A., Marchant, R.M., Middelberg, A., Perkins, N.R., West, D.M., Fenwick, S.G., 2003. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing of C. fetus subsp. fetus from sheep abortions in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. NZ Vet. J. 51, 33-37).

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