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New Genetic Material From Group B Streptococcus Identified

Streptococcus agalactiae (also called Group B Streptococcus, or GBS) is a versatile pathogen that affects a variety of animals. Now studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues are revealing new information about this pathogen.

The symptoms of GBS vary from animal to animal. In cattle, GBS is associated with mastitis, a painful udder inflammation that costs the U.S. cattle industry about $2 billion annually. In farmed and wild fish, the bacteria can cause meningo-encephalitis, which is accompanied by swimming difficulty and hemorrhaging.

To learn more about the emergence and transmission of GBS, scientists with the ARS Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit in Auburn, Ala., and Chestertown, Md., compared GBS samples, or "isolates," collected from infected fish, dolphins, cattle and humans. The study was led by ARS aquatic pathologist Joyce Evans in Chestertown.
 
 

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