Phenotypic and genetic characterization of Pasteurella multocida and related isolates from rabbits in Switzerland

Stahel, A.B.; Hoop, R.K.; Kuhnert, P.; Korczak, B.M. (2009). Phenotypic and genetic characterization of Pasteurella multocida and related isolates from rabbits in Switzerland. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation, 21(6), pp. 793-802. Columbia, Mo.: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians AAVLD 10.1177/104063870902100605

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Several bacteria belonging to the family Pasteurellaceae are potential pathogens in rabbits. In particular, Pasteurella multocida is considered to be important, and outbreaks caused by this species result in considerable economic losses in rabbitries. However, Pasteurellaceae spp. isolated from rabbits are poorly characterized, and thus, proper identification of P. multocida isolates from these animals is problematic and often unsatisfactory, thereby hampering epidemiological investigations. Therefore, 228 isolates from rabbit populations originating from a breeding and fattening organization with group management and postmortem cases with pasteurellosis from individual owners were phenotypically and genotypically analyzed using biochemical tests and repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR). Furthermore, 41 samples representing observed phenotypes were selected for phylogenetic analysis using 16S ribosomal RNA and rpoB genes. The REP-PCR typing and phylogenetic analyses correlated well and appeared to be distinct molecular methods for characterization of rabbit isolates. Phenotyping, however, diverged from molecular recognition, reflecting the problematic conventional diagnosis of these strains. The fermentation of sorbitol appeared to be an imprecise indicator for P. multocida subspecies classification. According to REP-PCR and sequencing results, 82% of the isolates were characterized as P. multocida subsp. multocida, 3% as P. multocida subsp. septica, and 5% as P. multocida. Further, 5% were identified as Pasteurella canis. The other 5% represented a homogeneous group of unknown species belonging to the Pasteurellaceae. Samples obtained from individual postmortem cases demonstrated a higher phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity than samples from group management rabbits.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Kuhnert, Peter and Korczak, Bozena


500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians AAVLD




Peter Kuhnert-Ryser

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:24

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2019 14:08

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 220735)

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