Characterization and recognition of Brachyspira hampsonii sp. Nov., a novel intestinal spirochete that is pathogenic to pigs

Nandita S. Mirajkar, Nyree D. Phillips, Tom La, David J. Hampson, Connie J. Gebhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Swine dysentery (SD) is a mucohemorrhagic colitis of swine classically caused by infection with the intestinal spirochete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. Since around 2007, cases of SD have occurred in North America associated with a different strongly beta-hemolytic spirochete that has been molecularly and phenotypically characterized and provisionally named "Brachyspira hampsonii." Despite increasing international interest, B. hampsonii is currently not recognized as a valid species. To support its recognition, we sequenced the genomes of strains NSH-16T, NSH-24, and P280/1, representing B. hampsonii genetic groups I, II, and III, respectively, and compared them with genomes of other valid Brachyspira species. The draft genome of strain NSH-16T has a DNA G+C content of 27.4% and an approximate size of 3.2 Mb. Genomic indices, including digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH), average nucleotide identity (ANI), and average amino acid identity (AAI), clearly differentiated B. hampsonii from other recognized Brachyspira species. Although discriminated genotypically, the three genetic groups are phenotypically similar. By electron microscopy, cells of different strains of B. hampsonii measure 5 to 10 μmby 0.28 to 0.34 μm, with one or two flat curves, and have 10 to 14 periplasmic flagella inserted at each cell end. Using a comprehensive evaluation of genotypic (gene comparisons and multilocus sequence typing and analysis), genomic (dDDH, ANI, and AAI) and phenotypic (hemolysis, biochemical profiles, protein spectra, antibiogram, and pathogenicity) properties, we classify Brachyspira hampsonii sp. Nov. as a unique species with genetically diverse yet phenotypically similar genomovars (I, II, and III). We designate the type strain NSH-16 (+ATCC BAA-2463+NCTC 13792).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2942-2949
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016

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© 2016, American Society for Microbiology.


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