- Infectious Diseases of Livestock
- Part 3
- Staphylococcus spp. infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: SPIROCHAETES
- Swine dysentery
- Borrelia theileri infection
- Borrelia suilla infection
- Lyme disease in livestock
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: AEROBIC ⁄ MICRO-AEROPHILIC, MOTILE, HELICAL ⁄ VIBROID GRAM-NEGATIVE BACTERIA
- Genital campylobacteriosis in cattle
- Proliferative enteropathies of pigs
- Campylobacter jejuni infection
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: GRAM-NEGATIVE AEROBIC OR CAPNOPHILIC RODS AND COCCI
- Moraxella spp. infections
- Bordetella bronchiseptica infections
- Pseudomonas spp. infections
- Brucella spp. infections
- Bovine brucellosis
- Brucella ovis infection
- Brucella melitensis infection
- Brucella suis infection
- Brucella infections in terrestrial wildlife
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC GRAM NEGATIVE RODS
- Klebsiella spp. infections
- Escherichia coli infections
- Salmonella spp. infections
- Bovine salmonellosis
- Ovine and caprine salmonellosis
- Porcine salmonellosis
- Equine salmonellosis
- Yersinia spp. infections
- Haemophilus and Histophilus spp. infections
- Haemophilus parasuis infection
- Histophilus somni disease complex in cattle
- Actinobacillus spp. infections
- Actinobacillus lignieresii infections
- Actinobacillus equuli infections
- Gram-negative pleomorphic infections: Actinobacillus seminis, Histophilus ovis and Histophilus somni
- Porcine pleuropneumonia
- Actinobacillus suis infections
- Pasteurella and Mannheimia spp. infections
- Pneumonic mannheimiosis and pasteurellosis of cattle
- Haemorrhagic septicaemia
- Pasteurellosis in sheep and goats
- Porcine pasteurellosis
- Progressive atrophic rhinitis
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: ANAEROBIC GRAM-NEGATIVE, IRREGULAR RODS
- Fusobacterium necrophorum, Dichelobacter (Bacteroides) nodosus and Bacteroides spp. infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: GRAM-POSITIVE COCCI
- Staphylococcus spp. infections
- Staphylococcus aureus infections
- Exudative epidermitis
- Other Staphylococcus spp. infections
- Streptococcus spp. infections
- Streptococcus suis infections
- Streptococcus porcinus infections
- Other Streptococcus spp. infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: ENDOSPORE-FORMING GRAM-POSITIVE RODS AND COCCI
- Clostridium perfringens group infections
- Clostridium perfringens type A infections
- Clostridium perfringens type B infections
- Clostridium perfringens type C infections
- Clostridium perfringens type D infections
- Malignant oedema⁄gas gangrene group of Clostridium spp.
- Clostridium chauvoei infections
- Clostridium novyi infections
- Clostridium septicum infections
- Other clostridial infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: REGULAR, NON-SPORING, GRAM-POSITIVE RODS
- Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: IRREGULAR, NON-SPORING, GRAM-POSITIVE RODS
- Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infections
- Corynebacterium renale group infections
- Bolo disease
- Actinomyces bovis infections
- Trueperella pyogenes infections
- Actinobaculum suis infections
- Actinomyces hyovaginalis infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: MYCOBACTERIA
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: ACTINOMYCETES
- Rhodococcus equi infections
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION: MOLLICUTES
- Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia
- Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia
- Mycoplasmal pneumonia of pigs
- Mycoplasmal polyserositis and arthritis of pigs
- Mycoplasmal arthritis of pigs
- Bovine genital mycoplasmosis
- Neurotoxin-producing group of Clostridium spp.
- Contagious equine metritis
- Tyzzer's disease
- MYCOTIC AND ALGAL DISEASES: Mycoses
- MYCOTIC AND ALGAL DISEASES: Pneumocystosis
- MYCOTIC AND ALGAL DISEASES: Protothecosis and other algal diseases
- DISEASE COMPLEXES / UNKNOWN AETIOLOGY: Epivag
- DISEASE COMPLEXES / UNKNOWN AETIOLOGY: Ulcerative balanoposthitis and vulvovaginitis of sheep
- DISEASE COMPLEXES / UNKNOWN AETIOLOGY: Ill thrift
- Bovine haemobartonellosis
Staphylococcus spp. infections
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Staphylococcus spp. infections
Staphylococcus spp., are Gram-positive bacteria, some of which cause suppurative disease processes in animals and humans. Of the over 40 species recognized at present (Table 1) 9, 15 only four (Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, S. pseudintermedius and S. hyicus) are significant in livestock. These cause various suppurative infections, especially abscesses, mastitis and pyoderma (Table 2). They occur as part of the normal microbial flora on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy humans and animals, and, to a lesser extent, in the environment.
The causation of lesions in the skin and mucous membranes by Staphylococcus depends on a number of factors, such as trauma, the immune status of the animal, disturbance of the normal microflora and whether or not the particular Staphylococcus strain produces certain toxins and enzymes.
Micrococcus spp. are common in the environment and on skin but they are not regarded as pathogenic and are distinguished from Staphylococcus spp. only in that they are strict aerobes. Planococcus spp. are found only in marine habitats, and in clams, shrimps and prawns.17
Stomatococcus, previously thought to have belonged to the family Micococcae, is now known to belong to Rothia. 4 Staphylococcus spp. are Gram-positive cocci (0,8 to 1,0 µm in diameter), non-motile, facultatively anaerobic, and catalase-positive, and in pus they form clusters like bunches of grapes.
Table 1 Currently recognized Staphylococcus spp
|COAGULASE-POSITIVE (OR VARIABLE) PATHOGENS||COAGULASE-NEGATIVE OPPORTUNISTS OR NON-PATHOGENS|
|S. aureus||S. epidermidis group||S. epidermidis|
|S. pseudintermedius||S. warneri|
|S. hyicus||S. hominis|
|S. schleiferi subsp. coagulans|
|S. saprophyticus group||S. saprophyticus|
|S. simulans group||S. simulans|
|S. sciuri group||S. sciur|
|Other unrelated species||S. auricularis|
|S. schleiferi subsp. schleiferi|
Table 2 Most common diseases caused by Staphylococcus spp. in livestock
|STAPHYLOCOCCUS SPP.||DISEASE||ANIMAL SPECIES AFFECTED|
|Staphylococcus aureus||Mastitis||Cattle, sheep, goats|
|Botryomycosis||Horses, cattle, pigs|
|Suppurative wound infections||All livestock species|
|Abscesses||All livestock species|
|S. hyicus||Exudative epidermitis (greasy pig disease)||Pigs|
|S. epidermidis||Causes no specific disease entity: occurs on normal skin (opportunistic pathogen)||Wide variety of animal species and humans|
Table 3 Characteristics that differentiate the pathogenic Staphylococcus spp.16
|CHARACTERISTIC||S. AUREUS||S. EPIDERMIDIS||S. PSEUDINTERMEDIUS||S. HYICUS|
+ 90 per cent or more strains positive
− 90 per cent or more strains negative
d 11–89 per cent of strains positive
w weak reaction
They grow well on conventional culture media such as blood tryptose agar or nutrient agar, forming white to yellowish-orange, butyrous colonies, the colour being due to the production of a carotenoid pigment. The colonies of some species, especially S. aureus, may be surrounded by a zone of haemolysis, due to the effect of haemolysins, such as alpha and delta haemolysins, produced by them. The individual species of Staphylococcus are biochemically distinct (Table 3) and ferment sugars with the formation of acid but not gas.
Staphylococcus organisms are among the most resistant of the non-sporing bacteria to dehydration, are relatively heat-resistant (they are destroyed by a temperature of 60 °C maintained for 30 minutes), tolerate common disinfectants better than most other bacteria, and are generally resistant to many of the commonly used antimicrobial drugs.20
Staphylococcus, depending on the species, may be ubiquitous or may occupy very specific ecological niches. An example is S. epidermidis, which inhabits the skin of mammals, especially humans and domestic animals.
Its preferred site is the skin close to natural openings, where it is well placed to opportunistically infect adjacent organs such as the udder or to cause wound infections. In contrast, S. saccharolyticus is only found on the skin of the human forehead and S. auricularis in the external auditory meatus of humans, while S. gallinarum occurs on the skin of poultry, and S. lentus on the skin of goats and sheep.16
Phage-typing and biochemical differences are used to differentiate between biotypes of S. aureus, 5, 14, 21, 28 of which four are now recognized. These are S. aureus biovar A (human), biovar B (porcine), biovar C (bovine and ovine) and biovar D (hares). The biovars previously referred to as E and F are not species-specific (dogs, pigeons, mink and horses), and are now nearly all known to be S. pseudintermedius. 13, 14 Reference to coagulase-positive S. aureus strains in the older literature may include S. pseudintermedius. Phage typing of S. pseudintermedius has been described19 but is not generally used.
Some S. aureus strains are able to produce capsules which are an extracellular polysaccharide layer or layers surrounding the cell wall.2 Twelve capsular serotypes are known, and the incidence of serotypes varies geographically.12, 25, 27 The capsule promotes virulence as encapsulated strains are more resistant to phagocytosis.2
The cell wall of Staphylococcus spp. contains peptidoglycan, in which L-lysine is the diamino acid, and teichoic acid.16 Staphylococcus aureus also contains a small basic protein, protein A, in its cell wall, that reacts with the Fc fragment of the IgG molecules, and is antiphagocytic and fixes complement.24
Various toxins and enzymes are produced by S. aureus but, with the exception of the exfoliative toxin produced by S. hyicus, few, if any, toxins or enzymes are produced by the other Staphylococcus spp. Toxins produced by S. aureus include haemolysins (alpha, beta, gamma and delta), leukocidin and enterotoxin. The alpha haemolysin is dermonecrotic and leukocidal, and produces complete haemolysis of erythrocytes of rabbits, sheep and cattle, but it has no effect on those of humans and horses.1 This haemolysin is thought to play a major role in the pathogenesis of blue udder or gangrenous mastitis in sheep, not only because of its haemolytic and leukocidal effects, but also because it destroys blood platelets and causes vasoconstriction.3 The beta haemolysin is unique to animal biotypes of S. aureus. It is a sphingomyelinase C and produces incomplete haemolysis of sheep and bovine erythrocytes, but it does not affect those of horses when incubated at 37 °C. Complete haemolysis does, however, occur when cultures containing horse red blood cells are stored at 4 to 15 °C after being incubated.26 The gamma haemolysin only produces weak haemolysis, while the delta haemolysin is a phospholipase with effects similar to those of alpha haemolysinin thatit causes haemolysis of erythrocytes of humans, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses, and is also leukocidal and dermonecrotic.
Many strains of S. aureus produce heat-stable enterotoxins, which, when ingested by humans in food, cause food poisoning manifested by gastroenteritis. Six (A–E and H)8 serologically distinct enterotoxin types are recognized. The enterotoxin types produced do not correspond to S. aureus biotypes, which are alphabetically named. About 40 per cent of human strains produce enterotoxin.7 Enterotoxin producing strains of S. aureus may produce more than one type of enterotoxin.
Staphylococcal enterotoxin C is divided into five subtypes, 1, 2, 3, ovine and bovine. Another subtype of staphylococcal enterotoxin type C has been described from canine isolates of S. pseudintermedius. 8
Strains of S. aureus that produce enterotoxin A, or both enterotoxins A and B are responsible for about 70 per cent of outbreaks of food poisoning.11
Enterotoxins are relatively heat-resistant proteins, and the usual boiling of food inactivates them slowly, e.g. enterotoxins A and B are both slowly inactivated at 100 °C, requiring between 10 and nearly 40 minutes depending on the concentration of the toxin and the substrate,7 but temperatures used in canning food usually destroy any enterotoxin present. Enterotoxins can withstand the action of proteases such as trypsin and chymotrypsin.7 Strains implicated in food poisoning should be examined for enterotoxin production.16
Enterotoxin is optimally produced in foods which can support satisfactory growth of the contaminating S. aureus strain at a temperature of 35 to 40 °C; lesser amounts are produced at lower temperatures.11 Milk of mastitic cows infected with S. aureus may contain enterotoxins and may therefore cause food poisoning in humans who consume it. Certain stains of S. auerus may also produce a number of other enzymes, including coagulase, deoxyribonuclease, hyaluronidase, fibrinolysin, lipase and protease. The presence of coagulase and deoxyribonuclease correlates positively with virulence of the bacterium and is used for identification purposes.16 Hyaluronidase,6 fibrinolysin (staphylokinase) which causes the lysis of thrombi by activating plasminogen, and protease enhance the spread of Staphylococcus in tissues, while the lipase degrades bacterial fatty acids on the skin.20
Coagulase has the ability to clot plasma prepared from blood which has been treated with an anticoagulant such as heparin, EDTA or oxalate. Two forms of coagulase are produced: bound coagulase or clumping factor, which is produced by S. aureus subspecies aureus, S. schleiferi subsp. schleiferi and most strains of S pseudintermedius, and free coagulase, which is produced by S. aureus (both S. aureus subsp. aureus and S. aureus subsp. anaerobius), S. pseudintermedius, S. schleiferi subsp. coagulans, S. delphini, S. lutrae and some strains of S. hyicus subsp. hyicus. 8, 16, 22 Bound coagulase is detected by a slide test, while free coagulase is detected by a tube test. The slide test is usually used as a screening test as it is rapidly performed, and the tube coagulase test is regarded as the definitive test. Rabbit or human plasma is used and must always be tested with known coagulase positive and coagulase-negative strains before being put into general use, as the plasma from certain individuals may not react correctly in the test.17 The coagulase test should be carried out under carefully standardized conditions to ensure optimal results.16, 18
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- BASELGA, R., ALBIZU, I. & AMORENA, B., 1994. Staphylococcus aureus capsule and slime as virulence factors in ruminant mastitis. A review. Veterinary Microbiology, 39, 195–204.
- BROWN, R.W. & SHERER, R.K., 1958. A study of the necrotising action of staphylococci alpha toxin. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 19, 354–362.
- COLLINS, M.D., HUTSON, R.A., BÅVERUD, V. & FALSEN, E., 2000. Characterization of a Rothis-like organism from a mouse: Description of Rothis nasimurium sp. nov., and reclassification of Stomatococcus mucilaginosus as Rothia mucilaginosa comb. nov. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 50, 1247–1251.
- DAVIDSON, I., 1961. A set of bacteriophages for typing bovine staphylococci. Research in Veterinary Science, 2, 396–407.
- DURAN-REYNALS, F., 1942. Tissue permeability and the spreading factors in infection. Bacteriological Reviews, 6, 197–252.
- EASMON, C.S.F. & GOODFELLOW, M., 1990. Staphylococcus and Micrococcus. In: PARKER, M.T. & COLLIER, L.H., (eds). Topley and Wilson’s Principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity. 8th edn. London: Edward Arnold.
- EDWARDS, V.M., DERINGER, J.R., CALLANTINE, S.D., DEOBALD, C.F., BERGER, P.H., KAPUR, V., STAUFFACHER, C.V. & BOHACH, G.A., 1997. Characterization of the canine type C enterotoxin produced by Staphylococcus pseudintermedius pyoderma isolates. Infection and Immunity, 65, 2346–2352
- EUZÉBE, J.P., 1997. List of bacterial names with standing in nomenclature: A folder available on the Internet. (Updated to 2002, http://www.bacterio.cict.fr) 47, 590–592.
- FOSTER, G., ROSS, H.M., HUTSON, R.A. & COLLINS, M.D., 1997. Staphylococcus lutrae sp. nov., a new coagulase-positive species isolated from otters. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 47, 724–726.
- GILBERT, R.J., ROBERTS, D. & SMITH, G., 1984. Food-borne diseases and botulism. In: WILSON, G.S., MILES, A.A. & PARKER, M.T., (eds). Topley and Wilson’s Principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity. 7th edn. London: Edward Arnold.
- GUIDRY, A., FATTORN, A., PATEL, A., O’BRIEN, C., SHEPHERD, S. & LOHUIS, J., 1998. Serotyping scheme for Staphylococcus aureus isolated from cows with mastitis. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 59, 1537–1539.
- HÁJEK, V., 1976. Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, a new species isolated from animals. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 26, 401–408.
- HÁJEK, V. & MARSÁLEK, E., 1971. The differentiation of pathogenic staphylococci and a suggestion for their taxonomic classification. Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infectionskrankheiten und Hygiene, Abteilung 1 Original A 217, 176–182
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- PARKER, M.T., 1983. Staphylococcus and Micrococcus; the anaerobic Gram-positive cocci. In: PARKET, M.T., (ed.). Topley and Wilson’s Principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity. 7th edn. London: Edward Arnold.
- PARKER, M.T., 1983. The significance of phage-typing patterns of Staphylococcus aureus: In: EASMON, C.S.F. & ADLAM, C., (eds). Staphylococci and Staphylococcal Infections. London: Academic Press, Inc.
- PHILLIPS, W.E. & KLOOS, W.E., 1981. Identification of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Staphylococcus hyicus subsp. hyicus isolates from veterinary clinical specimens. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 14, 671–673.
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