Serotyping and pathotyping of Glaesserella parasuis isolated 2012-2019 in Germany comparing different PCR-based methods
Glaesserella parasuis is an important pathogen in swine production. It acts as a primary pathogen in systemic Glässer´s disease and as a secondary pathogen in Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex. In this study, a collection of 308 isolates from carrier animals and individuals with respiratory or Glässer´s disease isolated 2012-2019 in Germany was analysed. Isolates were characterized for serovar implementing two different PCR methods. Additionally, two different PCR methods for pathotyping isolates were applied to the collection and results compared. Serovar 6 (p < 0.0001) and 9 (p = 0.0007) were correlated with carrier isolates and serovar 4 was associated with isolates from animals with respiratory disease (p = 0.015). In systemic isolates, serovar 13 was most frequently detected (18.9%). Various other serovars were isolated from all sites and the ratio of serovar 5 to serovar 12 was approximately 1:2. These two serovars together represented 14.3% of the isolates; only serovar 4 was isolated more frequently (24.7%). The pathotyping method based on the leader sequence (LS = ESPR of vta) was easy to perform and corresponded well to the clinical background information. Of the carrier isolates 72% were identified as non-virulent while 91% of the systemic isolates were classified as virulent (p < 0.0001). Results of the pathotyping PCR based on 10 different marker genes overall were in good agreement with clinical metadata as well as with results of the LS-PCR. However, the pathotyping PCR was more complicated to perform and analyze. In conclusion, a combination of the serotyping multiplex-PCR and the LS-PCR could improve identification of clinically relevant G. parasuis isolates, especially from respiratory samples.