Lactococcus garvieae is now recognized as a species with clinical significance for human and veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of this pathogen in sand bedding and milk samples. Two farms in Minnesota with problems of clinical and subclinical mastitis due to streptococci-like organisms were selected. Twenty-four Lactococcus garvieae isolates from sand bedding and 18 isolates from quarter milk were comparatively studied using a genotypic approach. RAPD (random amplification of polymorphic DNA) PCR and REP (repetitive element palindromic) PCR experiments highlighted a similar electrophoretic profile. When genes belonging to the core genome of L. garvieae were tested through a MLRT (multilocus restriction typing), we again observed that all L. garvieae isolates coming from sand bedding and milk shared a common profile, distinguishable from previously studied representative L. garvieae strains. These data indicate that the L. garvieae isolated from sand bedding and milk originated from a few strains adapted to persist in the same habitat. This supports the hypothesis that sand bedding can represent a reservoir of L. garvieae strains and be a potential vehicle for their dissemination in dairy farms.
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