A total of 218 isolates of Staphylococcus hyicus from pigs in eight countries (Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Korea, Slovenia, the UK and the USA) and 44 isolates from other animals in Belgium, India, Japan and the USA were examined for the genes encoding the exfoliative toxins ExhA, ExhB, ExhC and ExhD by multiplex PCR. The expression of the toxins was confirmed by immunoblot analysis, using monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies specific for each of the toxins. The porcine isolates were from pigs with exudative epidermitis, pigs with other lesions and from healthy pigs, and one or more of the toxins could be found among the isolates from the pigs in all the countries. Toxigenic strains of S hyicus were isolated from both healthy and diseased pigs, but the chance of isolating toxigenic strains from pigs with exudative epidermitis was greater than from pigs with other lesions or healthy pigs. Of the 44 isolates from other animal species, only one isolate, from a hare from Belgium, produced ExhB, and one isolate, from a cow with mastitis from Japan, produced ExhA.
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