BACKGROUND: Campylobacter fetus (C. fetus) can cause disease in both humans and animals. C. fetus has been divided into three subspecies: C. fetus subsp. fetus (Cff), C. fetus subsp. venerealis (Cfv) and C. fetus subsp. testudinum (Cft). Subspecies identification of mammal-associated C. fetus strains is crucial in the control of Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis (BGC), a syndrome associated with Cfv. The prescribed methods for subspecies identification of the Cff and Cfv isolates are: tolerance to 1 % glycine and H2S production.
RESULTS: In this study, we observed the deletion of a putative cysteine transporter in the Cfv strains, which are not able to produce H2S from L-cysteine. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the core genome single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within Cff and Cfv strains divided these strains into five different clades and showed that the Cfv clade and a Cff clade evolved from a single Cff ancestor.
CONCLUSIONS: Multiple C. fetus clades were observed, which were not consistent with the biochemical differentiation of the strains. This suggests the need for a closer evaluation of the current C. fetus subspecies differentiation, considering that the phenotypic differentiation is still applied in BGC control programs.
- campylobacter fetus
- Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis
- Subspecies differentiation
- Core genome SNP analysis
- H2S production
- cysteine transporter