Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses

Jena, Germany

Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses

Jena, Germany
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Schneeberg A.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Rupnik M.,Institute of Public Health Maribor | Rupnik M.,University of Maribor | Neubauer H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Seyboldt C.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses
Anaerobe | Year: 2012

Clostridium difficile is an important cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in humans. Pet animals and livestock are discussed as potential natural reservoirs and sources of infection. In this study faecal samples from dogs and cats were collected at 10 animal shelters in Thuringia, Germany. C. difficile was isolated from 9 out of 165 (5.5%) canine and 5 out of 135 (3.7%) feline samples. Five PCR ribotypes (010, 014/020, 039, 045, SLO 066) were identified. PCR ribotypes 010 and 014/020 were detected in more than one shelter and PCR ribotypes 014/020 and 045 were isolated from dogs and cats. MLVA profiles of strains of a PCR ribotype from one shelter were identical or closely related, while strains of the same PCR ribotype from different shelters showed significant differences. This study shows that dogs and cats kept in animal shelters are a reservoir of C. difficile PCR ribotypes which can infect also humans. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Klaus C.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Hoffmann B.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Hering U.,Medical Laboratory Rosenheim Medizinisches Labor Rosenheim | Mielke B.,Health and Veterinary Office Gesundheits und Veterinaramt | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2010

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is recognized as the most important viral tick-borne zoonosis in 27 countries in Europe. In this study, ticks were collected in Germany from two non-risk areas in the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where several single human TBE cases have occurred in recent years. Ticks were also collected from a region in Thuringia, known to be a former risk area for TBE virus (TBEV), where numerous human cases were reported between 1960 and 1975. Detection of TBEV RNA was conducted by real-time RT-PCR. No TBEV was detected in any field-collected ticks. However, ticks were also collected from volunteers living in Bavaria. Three of 239 ticks from this collection were positive for TBEV genome and two genetically distinct TBEV strains were detected and characterized. © 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Schneeberg A.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Neubauer H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Schmoock G.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Baier S.,Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2013

Clostridium difficile was isolated from 147 of 201 (73%) rectal swabs of piglets from 15 farms of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. In 14 farms, 14 to 100% (mean, 78%) of the animals tested were culture positive. The rate of isolation was 68% postpartum, increased to 94% in animals 2 to 14 days of age, and declined to0%for animals 49 days of age and older. There was no link between isolation and antibiotic treatment or diarrhea of piglets. Strains were assigned to 10 PCR ribotypes, and up to 4 PCR ribotypes were found to be present at the same time on a farm. The closely related PCR ribotypes 078 (55%) and 126 (20%) were most frequently recovered and were present in 13 of the 14 positive farms. The comparison of multilocusVNTR(variable number of tandem repeats) analysis (MLVA) data from this study and previously published data on human, porcine, and bovine PCR ribotype 078 isolates from 5 European countries revealed genetic differences between strains of different geographic origin and confirmed the relatedness of human and porcine C. difficile isolates. This study demonstrated that the human-pathogenic PCR ribotypes 078 and 126 are predominant in piglets in Germany. The results suggest that presence of C. difficile is correlated with animal age but not with antibiotic treatment or clinical disease.MLVAindicated that strains of the same geographical origin are often genetically related and corroborated the hypothesis of a close epidemiological connection between human and porcine C. difficile isolates. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Hildebrandt A.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Straube E.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Neubauer H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Schmoock G.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

A total of 1000 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in 2006 and 2007 in a forest region of Central Germany and investigated for Coxiella burnetii. The transposase element IS1111 and isocitrate dehydrogenase gene were targets of the real-time polymerase chain reaction. The pathogen was detected in 19 ticks (1.9%), and interestingly, in 10 of these samples, coinfections with Borrelia spp., spotted fever group rickettsiae, or Babesia spp. were present. Our study reports on C. burnetii infections in I. ricinus ticks in an area where cases of Q fever occur regularly and Dermacentor marginatus is not present. The broad spectrum of copathogens indicates interactions in transmission cycles and the possibility of coinfections in humans in areas where people are in close contact with infected ticks and domestic animals. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Pieper J.,Jena University of Applied Sciences | Methner U.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Berndt A.,Institute of Molecular Pathogenesis
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2011

Avian γδ T lymphocytes are frequently found in blood and organs and are assumed to be crucial to the immune defense against Salmonella infections of chicks. To elucidate the so-far-unknown immunological features of subpopulations of avian γδ T cells in the course of infection, day-old chicks were infected orally with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Until 11 days after infection, the occurrence as well as transcription of the CD8 antigen and immunologically relevant protein genes of CD8α- and CD8α+high (CD8αα + CD8αβ+) γδ cells were analyzed using flow cytometry and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) with blood, spleen, thymus, and cecum samples. After infection, an increased percentage of CD8α+high γδ T lymphocytes was found in blood, in spleen, and, with the highest values and most rapidly, in cecum. Within the CD8α+high subset, a significant rise in the number of CD8αα+ cells was accompanied by enhanced CD8α antigen expression and reduced gene transcription of the CD8β chain. CD8αα+ and CD8αβ+ cells showed elevated transcription for Fas, Fas ligand (FasL), interleukin-2 receptor α (IL-2Rα), and gamma interferon (IFN-γ). While the highest fold changes in mRNA levels were observed in CD8αα+ cells, the mRNA expression rates of CD8αβ+ cells never significantly exceeded those of the CD8αα+ cells. In conclusion, both CD8α+high γδ T-cell subpopulations (CD8αα+ and CD8αβ+) might be a potential source of IFN-γ in Salmonella-infected chicks. However, due to their prominent frequency in blood and organs after infection, the avian CD8αα+ gamma;δ T-cell subset seems to be unique and of importance in the course of Salmonella Typhimurium infection of very young chicks. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Monecke S.,TU Dresden | Monecke S.,Alere Technologies GmbH | Muller E.,Alere Technologies GmbH | Schwarz S.,Institute of Farm Animal Genetics | And 2 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2012

To screen isolates and to identify mecA alleles, published mecA sequences were analyzed, and a microarray for the rapid discrimination of mecA alleles was designed. A GenBank analysis yielded 135 full-length gene sequences annotated as mecA. These sequences clustered into 32 different alleles corresponding to 28 unique amino acid sequences and to 15 distinct hybridization patterns on this microarray. A collection of 78 clinical and veterinary isolates of Staphylococcus spp. was characterized using this assay. Nine of the 15 expected patterns, as well as one as-yet-unknown pattern, were identified. These patterns were detected in various epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, in S. pseudintermedius, and in coagulase-negative species such as S. epidermidis, S. fleurettii, or S. haemolyticus. There was no correlation between the different mecA hybridization patterns and the SCCmec type. Determination of MICs showed that mecA alleles corresponding to only four of these nine patterns were associated with β-lactam resistance. The mecA alleles that did not confer β-lactam resistance were largely restricted to coagulase-negative staphylococci of animal origin, such as S. sciuri and S. vitulinus. Because of the diversity of sequences and the different impact on β-lactam susceptibility, the existence of different mecA alleles needs to be taken into account when designing diagnostic assays for the detection of mecA. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Methner U.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Haase A.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Berndt A.,Institute of Molecular Pathogenesis | Martin G.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | And 2 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2011

Immunization represents one of the most important methods to increase the resistance of chickens against Salmonella infection. In addition to the development of an adaptive immune response, oral administration of live Salmonella strains to day-old chicks provides protection against infection within hours by intestinal colonization-inhibition. For the exploitation of this phenomenon, practical information on colonization-inhibition between Salmonella organisms is needed. Colonization-inhibition capacity between Salmonella strains from serogroups B, C1, C2, D and G was assessed in chickens. The most profound level of intestinal colonization-inhibition occurred between isogenic strains. Inhibition between strains of the same serovar was greater than that between strains of different serovars. The degree of inhibition between different serovars was not sufficiently high to identify a single strain which might inhibit a wide range of other Salmonella organisms. However, as Salmonella Enteritidis is the dominant serovar in poultry in many countries and because of the profound colonization-inhibition within this serovar there is a considerable potential to exploit this phenomenon in the development of novel live S. Enteritidis vaccines. Treatment of young chicks with mixtures of different Salmonella serovars resulted not only in a very strong growth inhibition of the isogenic strains but also in a substantial inhibition of heterologous serovars. The potential of mixtures of heterologous Salmonella strains as a 'Salmonella Inhibition Culture' and as a 'live Salmonella vaccine' should be further explored. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Klaus C.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Ziegler U.,Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases | Kalthoff D.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Hoffmann B.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
BMC Veterinary Research | Year: 2014

Background: By using animal sera as sentinels, natural TBEV foci could be identified and further analyses including investigations of ticks could be initiated. However, antibody response against TBEV-related flaviviruses might adversely affect the readout of such a monitoring. Therefore, the cross-reactivity of the applied TBEV serology test systems - enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and virus neutralization test (VNT) - as well as the longevity of TBEV antibody titres in sheep and goats were investigated in this study.Results: Cross-reactivity of the TBEV antibody test systems with defined antibody-positive samples against selected members of the Flaviviridae family (e.g. Louping ill virus, West Nile virus) was observed for Louping-ill-positive sera only. In contrast, the commercial West Nile virus (WNV) competitive ELISA showed a high level of cross-reactivity with TBEV-specific positive sera.To assess the longevity of TBEV antibody titres, sera from two sheep and two goats, which had been immunized four times with a commercially available TBEV vaccine, were tested routinely over 28 months. In three of the four animals, TBEV-specific antibody titres could be detected over the whole test period.In addition, sera from the years 2010 and 2011 were collected in flocks in different villages of Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia to allow re-examination two to four years after the initial analysis. Interestingly, in most cases the results of the former investigations were confirmed, which may be caused by steadily existing natural TBEV foci.Conclusion: Cross-reactivity must be taken into consideration, particularly for TBEV serology in regions with a prevalence of Louping ill virus and for serological testing of WNV by cross-reactive ELISAs. Furthermore, over-interpretation of single TBEV-positive serological results should be avoided, especially in areas without a TBEV history. © 2014 Klaus et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Methner U.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Rammler N.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Fehlhaber K.,University of Leipzig | Rosler U.,Free University of Berlin
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2011

Apart from Salmonella monitoring of pig herds during the period of growth to evaluate the efficacy of control programmes, monitoring at harvest level is of relevance to assess the Salmonella status of fattening pigs and the associated risk of introducing Salmonella organisms in the slaughter process. Samples from 1830 fattening pigs were gathered at slaughter. Ileocaecal lymph nodes, rectal and caecal content as well as tonsils were collected for bacteriological examinations, and a part of the diaphragm pillar muscle was taken to gain meat-juice for serological analysis. Salmonella spp. was recovered from 13.8% of all pigs examined. Salmonella Typhimurium and Derby were the dominating serovars. The highest detection rates were found in caecal content followed by ileocaecal lymph nodes. By analysing both organs nearly 90% of all Salmonella positive pigs could be identified. Serological examination revealed 9.6% of the pigs as positive using a cut-off value of OD % ≥ 40. Only one quarter of all Salmonella positive pigs showed also a positive serological result. A reduction of the cut-off value does not necessarily result in a higher compliance between bacteriologically and serologically positive slaughter pigs. Detection of antibodies is useful to verify whether pig herds were previously exposed to Salmonella organisms. However, the Salmonella status of pigs at time of slaughter and the associated risk of dissemination of Salmonella organisms can only be assessed by bacteriological examinations which should include both lymph nodes and caecal content. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Lange M.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Neubauer H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Seyboldt C.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses
Molecular and Cellular Probes | Year: 2010

Clostridium chauvoei is the causative agent of blackleg in cattle and sheep. The clinical symptoms of this severe disease are very similar to that of malignant edema (Clostridium septicum), infections of other Clostridium species belonging to the gas edema complex, and anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). C. chauvoei and C. septicum are closely related taxa and share many phenotypic properties hampering diagnosis by using traditional microbiological methods. Thus, there is a need for a fast and reliable identification method for specific detection of both species in clinical samples. The multiplex real-time PCR assay presented here is based on the detection of the spo0A gene and enables the simultaneous identification of C. chauvoei and C. septicum. The assay design includes an amplification control DNA template for the recognition of PCR-inhibitors. Assay validation was performed using a collection of 29 C. chauvoei, 38 C. septicum strains and 26 strains of other Clostridium species. Furthermore, the real-time PCR assay was successfully tested on tissue samples from 19 clinical blackleg cases. The assay allowed the reliable detection of one picogram DNA which represents approximate 239 genome equivalents. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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