Acute hemorrhagic pneumonia caused by Streptococcus zooepidemicus has emerged as a major disease of shelter dogs and greyhounds. S. zooepidemicus strains differing in multilocus sequence typing (MLST), protective protein (SzP), and M-like protein (SzM) sequences were identified from 9 outbreaks in Texas, Kansas, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. Clonality based on 2 or more isolates was evident for 7 of these outbreaks. The Pennsylvania and Nevada outbreaks also involved cats. Goat antisera against acutely infected lung tissue as well as convalescent-phase sera reacted with a mucinase (Sz115), hyaluronidase (HylC), InlA domain-containing cell surface-anchored protein (INLA), membrane-anchored protein (MAP), SzP, SzM, and extracellular oligopeptide-binding protein (OppA). The amino acid sequences of SzP and SzM of the isolates varied greatly. The szp and szm alleles of the closely related Kansas clone (sequence type 129 [ST-129]) and United Kingdom isolate BHS5 (ST-123) were different, indicating that MLST was unreliable as a predictor of virulence phenotype. Combinations of conserved HylC and serine protease (ScpC) and variable SzM and SzP proteins of S. zooepidemicus strain NC78 were protectively immunogenic for mice challenged with a virulent canine strain. Thus, although canine pneumonia outbreaks are caused by different strains of S. zooepidemicus, protective immune responses were elicited in mice by combinations of conserved or variable S. zooepidemicus proteins from a single strain.

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Published in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, v. 21, no. 9, p. 1246-1252.

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

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Funding Information

Endowment income from the Keeneland Chair of Infectious Diseases supported this research.

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Supplemental File 1-Table S1