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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Assessment of diagnostics and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Brachyspira species using a ring test

Rasback T, Fellstrom C, Bergsjo B, Cizek A, Collin K, Gunnarsson A, Jensen SM, Mars A, Thomson J, Vyt P, Pringle M


There is no ring test for quality assessment available in Europe for diagnostics and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of the fastidious, anaerobic bacteria of the genus Brachyspira. Therefore, an international ring test for Brachyspira spp. was performed once a year during 2002-2004. Two sets of coded samples were prepared and distributed on each occasion. One set comprised six swabs dipped in pig faeces spiked with Brachyspira spp. intended for diagnostics. The other set comprised two pure strains intended only for susceptibility testing. All methods used were in-house methods. The species used were Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Brachyspira pilosicoli, Brachyspira innocens, Brachyspira murdochii and Brachyspira intermedia. In most cases, the correct Brachyspira spp. were detected. However, the results showed that Brachyspira spp. could be difficult to identify, especially if two Brachyspira spp. were mixed or if the concentration of Brachyspira in faeces was low. Additionally, some laboratories reported Brachyspira growth in control samples that were not seeded with any spirochaetes. The lowest detection level was 10(2) bacteria/ml faeces for both B. hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli. The susceptibility tests performed showed that disc diffusion was not recommendable for Brachyspira spp. Extended antimicrobial dilution series gave most congruent results. The diversity of the results highlights the importance of ring tests for a high quality of diagnostics and antimicrobial susceptibility tests for Brachyspira spp. This is the first ring test described for Brachyspira spp. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2005, Volume: 109, number: 3-4, pages: 229-243