Transmission of Streptococcus equi Subspecies zooepidemicus Infection from Horses to Humans
Published Date:Jul 2013
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 19(7):1041-1048.
Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
Multilocus Sequence Typing
Streptococcus Equi Subsp. Zooepidemicus
Description:Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus) is a zoonotic pathogen for persons in contact with horses. In horses, S. zooepidemicus is an opportunistic pathogen, but human infections associated with S. zooepidemicus are often severe. Within 6 months in 2011, 3 unrelated cases of severe, disseminated S. zooepidemicus infection occurred in men working with horses in eastern Finland. To clarify the pathogen's epidemiology, we describe the clinical features of the infection in 3 patients and compare the S. zooepidemicus isolates from the human cases with S. zooepidemicus isolates from horses. The isolates were analyzed by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, and sequencing of the szP gene. Molecular typing methods showed that human and equine isolates were identical or closely related. These results emphasize that S. zooepidemicus transmitted from horses can lead to severe infections in humans. As leisure and professional equine sports continue to grow, this infection should be recognized as an emerging zoonosis.
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