Isolation and characterization of Brucella abortus isolates from wildlife species in South Korea

  • Truong, Quang Lam (College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Kim, Kiju (College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Taek (College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Her, Moon (OIE Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) ;
  • Jung, Suk-Chan (OIE Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) ;
  • Hahn, Tae-Wook (College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University)
  • Received : 2016.05.07
  • Accepted : 2016.06.29
  • Published : 2016.09.30


A total of 782 blood and 465 tissue samples from 1,039 wild animals and 127 dairy goats were collected from January 2011 to December 2013 in 10 provinces of South Korea and tested for the presence of brucellosis. The Rose Bengal test revealed that 8.0% (52/650) of the serum samples were seropositive, while 4.2% (33/782) of the serum samples were positive for Brucella antibodies by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of the 650 sera examined, only 16 (2.5%) were positive by both serological tests. Direct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using B4/B5 primers for Brucella abortus (BCSP31) revealed the prevalence of Brucella to be 26.5% (129/487) in blood samples and 21% (98/465) in tissue samples while, 16S rRNA PCR detected Brucella DNA in 6.8% (33/487) and 2.6% (12/465) in blood and tissue samples, respectively. Of PCR-positive samples, only 6.2% (30/487) of blood samples and 2.4% (11/465) of tissue samples were found to be positive by both BCSP31 and 16S rRNA PCRs. However, Brucella strains were isolated by blood culture from only two out of 487 blood samples (0.4%). This characterization and identification of pathogenic Brucella isolates is the first to clearly indicate that the organisms were Brucella abortus biovar 1.


Supported by : Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA), Kangwon National University


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