Epidemiologic study of results of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of isolates of Rhodococcus equi obtained from horses and horse farms. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To compare isolates of Rhodococcus equi on the basis of geographic source and virulence status by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). SAMPLE POPULATION: 290 isolates of R equi (218 virulent isolates from foals and 72 avirulent isolates from feces, soil, and respiratory tract samples) obtained between 1985 and 2000 from horses and horse farms from 4 countries. PROCEDURE: DNA from isolates was digested with the restriction enzyme Asel and tested by use of PFGE. Products were analyzed for similarities in banding patterns by use of dendrograms. A similarity matrix was constructed for isolates, and the matrix was tested for nonrandom distributions of similarity values with respect to groupings of interest. RESULTS: There was little grouping of isolates on the basis of country, virulence status, or region within Texas. Isolates of R equi were generally < 80% similar, as determined by use of PFGE. Isolates from the same farm generally were rarely of the same strain. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Considerable chromosomal variability exists among isolates of R equiobtained from the same farm, sites withinTexas, or among countries from various continents. Only rarely will it be possible to link infections to a given site or region on the basis of analysis of isolates by use of PFGE of chromosomal DNA.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cohen, N. D., Smith, K. E., Ficht, T. A., Takai, S., Libal, M. C., West, B. R., ... Martens, R. J.

citation count

  • 26

publication date

  • February 2003