The detection and subspeciation of Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis (CFV) from veterinary samples is important for both clinical and economic reasons. Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis is the causative agent of bovine genital campylobacteriosis, a venereal disease that can lead to serious reproductive problems in cattle, and strict international regulations require animals and animal products to be CFV-free for trade. This study evaluated methods reported in the literature for CFV detection and reports the translation of an extensively tested CFV-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer set; including the VenSF/VenSR primers and a real-time, quantitative PCR (qPCR) platform using SYBR Green chemistry. Three methods of preputial sample preparation for direct qPCR were evaluated and a heat lysis DNA extraction method was shown to allow for CFV detection at the level of approximately one cell equivalent per reaction (or 1.0 × 103 CFU/mL) from prepuce. The optimized sample preparation and qPCR protocols were then used to evaluate 3 western Canadian bull cohorts, which included 377 bulls, for CFV. The qPCR assay detected 11 positive bulls for the CFV-specific parA gene target. DNA sequence data confirmed the identity of the amplified product and revealed that positive samples were comprised of 2 sequence types; one identical to previously reported CFV parA gene sequences and one with a 9% sequence divergence. These results add valuable information towards our understanding of an important CFV subspeciation target and offer a significantly improved format for an internationally recognized PCR test.
Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research / Vol. 76, No. 3, pp.166-173