Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to divide 124 Australian isolates of Streptococcus suis type 2 into 17 electrophoretic types (ETs). Isolates in ET 1 were the most frequent cause of disease amongst Western Australian pigs, but isolates of ET 8 were more commonly associated with disease in other Australian states. Multiple isolates from 10 of 19 farms all belonged to the same ET, whilst isolates from the other farms belonged to between 2 and 4 different ETs. Some isolates could be differentiated further by DNA restriction endonuclease analysis, whilst others with the same restriction pattern were located in different, but closely-related ETs. Fourteen isolates were tested for their virulence in mice. Most caused disease if given in high numbers, but isolates in ET 1 were virulent at lower dose rates. This virulent clone also was distinguished by the fact that 80% of isolates produced extracellular factor (EF).
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