Phylogenetic relationships among Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from piscine, dolphin, bovine and human sources: a dolphin and piscine lineage associated with a fish epidemic in Kuwait is also associated with human neonatal infections in Japan

J Med Microbiol. 2008 Nov;57(Pt 11):1369-1376. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.47815-0.


Streptococcus agalactiae, commonly known as group B streptococcus (GBS), is a cause of infectious disease in numerous animal species. This study examined the genetic relatedness of piscine, dolphin and human GBS isolates and bovine GBS reference strains from different geographical regions using serological and molecular serotyping and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) techniques. Piscine isolates originating from Kuwait, Brazil, Israel and the USA were capsular serotype Ia, a serotype previously unreported in GBS isolated from fish. Sequence typing of piscine isolates produced six sequence types (ST-7, ST-257, ST-258, ST-259, ST-260 and ST-261), the latter five representing allelic designations and allelic combinations not previously reported in the S. agalactiae MLST database. Genomic diversity existed between dolphin and piscine GBS isolates from Kuwait and other geographical areas. Piscine GBS isolates from Brazil, Israel, Honduras and the USA appeared to represent a distinct genetic population of strains that were largely unrelated to human and bovine GBS. The Kuwait dolphin and piscine lineage (ST-7, Ia) was also associated with human neonatal infections in Japan. Comparative genomics of piscine, human and bovine GBS could help clarify those genes important for host tropism, the emergence of unique pathogenic clones and whether these hosts act as reservoirs of one another's pathogenic lineages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / microbiology*
  • Dolphins / microbiology*
  • Fishes / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*