Identification, 16S rRNA–based characterization, and antimicrobial profile of Gallibacterium isolates from broiler and layer chickens

Muhammad Z. Shabbir, Subhashinie Kariyawasam, Traci A. Pierre, Patricia A. Dunn, Eva A. Wallner-Pendleton, Huaguang Lu

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1 Scopus citations


Gallibacterium spp., particularly G. anatis, have received much attention as poultry pathogens in recent years. We report here the presence and antimicrobial resistance profile of 69 Gallibacterium isolates obtained from 2,204 diagnostic submissions of broiler and layer chickens in 2019–2021. Gallibacterium-positive chickens had lesions primarily in the respiratory tract, reproductive tract, and related serosal surfaces. Gallibacterium spp. were initially identified based on their typical cultural characteristics on blood agar. The isolates were confirmed by a genus-specific PCR spanning 16S-23S rRNA and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed distinct clades. Of the 69 isolates, 68 clustered with the reference strains of G. anatis and 1 with Gallibacterium genomospecies 1 and 2. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of 58 of the 69 isolates by a MIC method showed variable responses to antimicrobials. The isolates were all susceptible to enrofloxacin, ceftiofur, florfenicol, and gentamicin. There was a high level of susceptibility to trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (98.0%), streptomycin (98.0%), amoxicillin (84.0%), sulfadimethoxine (71.0%), and neomycin (71.0%). All of the isolates were resistant to tylosin. There was resistance to penicillin (98.0%), erythromycin (95.0%), clindamycin (94.0%), novobiocin (90.0%), tetracycline (88.0%), oxytetracycline (76.0%), and sulfathiazole (53.0%). A high rate of intermediate susceptibility was observed for spectinomycin (67.0%) and sulfathiazole (40.0%). Our findings indicate a potential role of G. anatis as an important poultry pathogen and cause of subsequent disease, alone or in combination with other pathogens. Continuous monitoring and an antimicrobial susceptibility assay are recommended for effective treatment and disease control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Veterinary


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