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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Whitehead, Terence
item Cotta, Michael

Submitted to: Federation of European Microbiological Societies Microbiology Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Streptococcus bovis is a bacterium that is normally found in the rumen of ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep and has potential as an industrial organism for production of such products as lactate and ethanol. S. bovis is also rarely isolated from humans but has been reported to cause such diseases as endocarditis and meningitis. Recent reports also suggest a correlation between increased levels of S. bovis and human colonic cancer. Identification of human isolates of S. bovis has been a problem due to differences in biochemical characteristics between the human and ruminal strains of S. bovis. In order to overcome this problem, we have developed new tests to identify human and ruminal strains of S. bovis based on differences in the DNA sequence of one particular gene. S. bovis can now be rapidly identified in clinical and other settings.

Technical Abstract: Streptococcus bovis is a normal inhabitant of the rumen but has been implicated as one of the organisms involved in ruminal lactic acidosis and related problems. In humans, S. bovis has been identified as a causative agent for endocarditis, meningitis, and septicemia. Recent reports have also suggested a correlation between human colonic carcinoma and increased levels of S. bovis in the colon. Identification of S. bovis strains of human origin in clinical settings has been problematic due to variations in biochemical tests as compared to ruminal strains of S. bovis and other streptococcal species. DNA-DNA hybridization with chromosomal DNA from various S. bovis strains indicates that strains of human origin are different from those of ruminal origin. Specific probes have been designed from S. bovis 16S rDNA gene sequences that differentiate strains of human and ruminal origin by direct hybridization and PCR analyses. These techniques now allow for rapid identification of S. bovis strains for clinical and other scientific investigations.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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