Objective - To determine whether repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) could be used to differentiate Streptococcus equi isolates, to examine S equi isolates from throughout the world, and to determine whether a horse had > 1 subtype of S equi during an outbreak of disease. Sample Population - An initial group of 32 S equi isolates, 63 S equi isolates from various geographic areas, and 17 S equi isolates obtained during outbreaks of disease. Procedure - An aliquot of S equi genomic DNA was amplified, using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus primers. Gel electrophoresis was performed on 1.5% agarose gels, and a computed-assisted program was used to compare rep-PCR results. Results - Use of these primers to analyze 100 ng of S equi genomic DNA resulted in patterns of 6 to 14 bands. The 32 initial isolates were separated into 7 repPCR subtypes. There were 30 rep-PCR subtypes found among 29 S equi isolates obtained from Minnesota, Michigan, Canada, and Australia and 34 S equi isolates obtained from Kentucky and other sources. Furthermore, the same clone was identified in several horses during an outbreak of disease. Infected horses on the same farm all had a single clone of S equi. Conclusion and Clinical Relevance - Analysis of these results suggests that rep-PCR is useful for delineating S equi into rep-PCR subtypes. Results revealed that isolates with the same geographic source or similar date of collection did not always have the same rep-PCR subtype. A single clone of S equi usually predominated during an outbreak of disease.
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