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Molecular epidemiology of strangles outbreaks in the UK during 2010
  1. N. J. Parkinson, MA, VetMB, MRCVS1,
  2. C. Robin, BSc, MSc1,
  3. J. R. Newton, BVSc, MSc, PhD, DLSHTM, DipECVPH, FRCVS1,
  4. J. Slater, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS2 and
  5. A. S. Waller, BSc, PhD1
  1. Centre for Preventive Medicine, Animal Health Trust, Landwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  2. Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  1. E-mail for correspondence andrew.waller{at}

The sequence of the Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S equi) M-like protein (SeM) gene was determined for 105 isolates of S equi from strangles outbreaks in the UK during 2010 and compared with previous data from 2007 to 2008. Twenty-three distinct alleles were identified, including 11 novel alleles. One allele giving rise to a putative truncated M protein was identified from the guttural pouch of an asymptomatic carrier. Allele 9 was the most prevalent, comprising 57.7 per cent of isolates, followed by allele 6 (10.3 per cent). Significant changes in allele prevalence were found between 2007, 2008 and 2010, with an increasing prevalence in SeM-9-related alleles and a corresponding decreasing prevalence in SeM-6-related alleles observed over the period (P<0.001). Geographical proximity of outbreaks caused by some uncommon alleles was apparent between 2007, 2008 and 2010.

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