Neurological symptoms and mortality associated with Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus in calves.


Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Str. Prov. per Casamassima Km 3, 70010, Valenzano, BA, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


Suppurative meningitis-meningoencephalitis (M-ME) is a sporadic disease in neonatal ungulates and only a few studies have reported the involvement of Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) members in bovine neonatal M-ME. The SBSEC taxonomy was recent revised and previous biotype II/2 was reclassified as S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus (SGP). The aim of this study was to describe a case of fatal neonatal neurological syndrome associated with SGP in calves. Ten calves were monitored because of neurological hyperacute symptoms associate with bilateral hypopyon and death. They were not fed with maternal colostrum; two of them died and were subjected to bacteriological, histopathological and biomolecular analysis as well as antibiotic susceptibility test. Both animals presented lesions mostly concentrated to meninges and brain and had bilateral hypopyon. Nine strains isolated in purity from brain, ocular humors and colon were identified as S. bovis group by using the API Strep system and as S. gallolyticus by using the 16S rRNA sequence. Two of these strains where subjected to WGS analysis that confirmed the sub-species identification and the clonality of the two SGP strains. The strains were found resistant to OT, SXT, MTZ and EN and susceptible to AMP, AMC, KZ and CN. We hypothesized that the syndrome observed could be due to the lack of maternal colostrum feeding. A timely and precise diagnosis could have likely prevented the death of the calves and, since the zoonotic potential of SBSECs members is known, accurate and rapid identification is required.


Calves,Meningitis-Meningoencephalitis,Streptococcus bovis/streptococcus equinus complex,Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. Pasteurianus,

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