Strangles, caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S. equi) is an infectious disease of horses with worldwide distribution, but there are limited data available regarding strain variation using whole genome sequencing among and within outbreaks in the United States (US), and how US isolates compare with S. equi isolated globally. To address this knowledge-gap, we compared the whole genomes of 54 S. equi isolates from Texas and Kentucky and those of 230 publicly available sequences of S. equi isolates collected from other countries. Our results show that despite minimal variation among isolates within an outbreak some mutations do occur among individual outbreak isolates. Some S. equi strains from the US are closely related to S. equi isolates from other countries, likely reflecting international dissemination of isolates. Collectively, these data improve our understanding of phenotypic and genotypic variation of isolates within an outbreak, and the international distribution of S. equi. We also identify a novel variant of the S. equi M-protein, and observed cases of strangles that were caused by the modified-live vaccine but that were not recognized as vaccine-associated at the time of clinical sample submission.
- Genotypic Variation
- Whole Genome Sequencing, Molecular
- Streptococcus Equi Subspecies Equi