Molecular detection and genetic characterization of mycoplasma gallisepticum and mycoplasma synoviae in selected chicken breeds in South Africa.

Idowu, Peter Ayodeji
Mpofu, Takalani Judas
Zishiri, Oliver T.
Adelabu, Olusesan A.
Nephawe, Khathutshelo Agree
Mtileni, Bohani
Background The impact of chickens on maintaining the economy and livelihood of rural communities cannot be overemphasized. In recent years, mycoplasmosis has become one of the diseases that affect the success of South African chicken production. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) are the most prevalent strains of Mycoplasma in South Africa. MG and MS are significant respiratory pathogens affecting the productivity of chickens. The present study aimed to molecularly detect using qPCR and characterize the presence of MG and MS using phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic analysis was utilized to clarify general evolutionary relationships between related taxa of different MG and MS observed in tracheal swabs from South African chicken breeds. Methods Forty-five tracheal swabs of the Lohmann Brown (n = 9), Rhode Island Red (n = 9), Ovambo (n = 9), Venda (n = 9), and Potchefstroom Koekoek (n = 9) breeds were collected from symptomatic chickens present in the commercial farm. To detect MG and MS, DNA was extracted from tracheal swabs and faecal samples, and qPCR was performed with a 16 s rRNA (310 bp) and vlhA (400 bp) gene fragment. Following the sequencing of all the amplicons, MG, and MS dendrograms showing the evolutionary relationships among the five South African chicken breeds and the GeneBank reference population were constructed. Results The qPCR revealed the presence of MG and MS in 22% (2/9) of the tracheal swab samples tested for MS only in Rhode Island Red breeds; 66.6% (6/9) and 33% (3/9) of the tested samples in Ovambo breeds; and 11.1% (1/9) and 44.4% (4/9) of the tested samples in Venda breeds. No MG or MS were detected in the Lohmann Brown or Potchefstroom Koekoek breed. Furthermore, qPCR revealed the presence of MG in pooled faecal samples from Lohmann Brown and Ovambo breeds. Eight different bacterial isolates were from both samples. Four isolateswere of the 16 s ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene (named PT/MG51/ck/00, PT/MG48/ck/00, PT/MG41/ck/00 and PT/MG71/ck/00) gene of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and the other was Mycoplasma Synoviae variable lipoprotein hemagglutinin A (vlhA) gene (named PT/MSA22/ck/01, PT/MS41/ck/01, PT/MS74/ck/01 and PT/MS46/ck/01).
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Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, Poultry, QPCR, 16SrRNA, Vlha gene, South Africa
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