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Microbiology. 2011 Jul;157(Pt 7):2106-19. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.047969-0. Epub 2011 May 5.

Application of suppressive subtractive hybridization to the identification of genetic differences between two Lactococcus garvieae strains showing distinct differences in virulence for rainbow trout and mouse.

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Área de Microbiología, Departamento de Biología Funcional, Facultad de Medicina, IUBA, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.


Lactococcus garvieae is the causative microbial agent of lactococcosis, an important and damaging fish disease in aquaculture. This bacterium has also been isolated from vegetables, milk, cheese, meat and sausages, from cow and buffalo as a mastitis agent, and even from humans, as an opportunistic infectious agent. In this work pathogenicity experiments were performed in rainbow trout and mouse models with strains isolated from human (L. garvieae HF) and rainbow trout (L. garvieae UNIUDO74; henceforth referred to as 074). The mean LD(50) value in rainbow trout obtained for strain 074 was 2.1 × 10(2) ± 84 per fish. High doses of the bacteria caused specific signs of disease as well as histological alterations in mice. In contrast, strain HF did not prove to be pathogenic either for rainbow trout or for mice. Based on these virulence differences, two suppressive subtractive hybridizations were carried out to identify unique genetic sequences present in L. garvieae HF (SSHI) and L. garvieae 074 (SSHII). Differential dot-blot screening of the subtracted libraries allowed the identification of 26 and 13 putative ORFs specific for L. garvieae HF and L. garvieae 074, respectively. Additionally, a PCR-based screening of 12 of the 26 HF-specific putative ORFs and the 13 074-specific ones was conducted to identify their presence/absence in 25 L. garvieae strains isolated from different origins and geographical areas. This study demonstrates the existence of genetic heterogeneity within L. garvieae isolates and provides a more complete picture of the genetic background of this bacterium.

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