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Keywords:

  • dromedary camel;
  • lactic acidosis;
  • Rusa deer;
  • 16S rDNA;
  • Streptococcus bovis

Abstract

Aims:  Isolation and characterization of Streptococcus bovis from the dromedary camel and Rusa deer.

Methods and Results:  Bacteria were isolated from the rumen contents of four camels and two deer fed lucerne hay by culturing on the semi-selective medium MRS agar. Based on Gram morphology and RFLP analysis seven isolates, MPR1, MPR2, MPR3, MPR4, MPR5, RD09 and RD11 were selected and putatively identified as Streptococcus. The identity of these isolates was later confirmed by comparative DNA sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene with the homologous sequence from S. bovis strains, JB1, C14b1, NCFB2476, SbR1, SbR7 and Sb5, from cattle and sheep, and the Streptococcus equinus strain NCD01037T. The percentage similarity amongst all strains was >99%, confirming the identification of the camel isolates as S. bovis. The strains were further characterized by their ability to utilize a range of carbohydrates, the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and lactate and the determination of the doubling time in basal medium 10 supplemented with glucose. All the isolates produced l-lactate as a major fermentation end product, while four of five camel isolates produced VFA. The range of carbohydrates utilized by all the strains tested, including those from cattle and sheep were identical, except that all camel isolates and the deer isolate RD11 were additionally able to utilize arabinose.

Conclusions: Streptococcus bovis was successfully isolated from the rumen of camels and deer, and shown by molecular and biochemical characterization to be almost identical to S. bovis isolates from cattle and sheep.

Significance and Impact of the Study: Streptococcus bovis is considered a key lactic acid producing bacterium from the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants, and has been implicated as a causative agent of lactic acidosis. This study is the first report of the isolation and characterization of S. bovis from the dromedary camel and Rusa deer, and suggests a major contributive role of this bacterium to fermentative acidosis.