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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 353876, 7 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Genetic Diversity of Zoonotic Brucella spp. Recovered from Livestock in Egypt Using Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis

1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Shamlaa Street, Beni-Suef 62511, Egypt
2Centro VISAVET, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avenida Puerta de Hierro, s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avenida Puerta de Hierro, s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
4Department of Brucellosis, Animal Health Research Institute, Nadi-Elsaed Street, Dokki, Giza 12618, Egypt
5Servicio de Microbiología, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Carretera Colmenar Viejo, km. 9.100, 28034 Madrid, Spain

Received 9 October 2013; Accepted 29 November 2013; Published 6 January 2014

Academic Editor: Andres Perez

Copyright © 2014 Ahmed M. S. Menshawy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Brucellosis is endemic in most parts of Egypt, where it is caused mainly by Brucella melitensis biovar 3, and affects cattle and small ruminants in spite of ongoing efforts devoted to its control. Knowledge of the predominant Brucella species/strains circulating in a region is a prerequisite of a brucellosis control strategy. For this reason a study aiming at the evaluation of the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of a panel of 17 Brucella spp. isolates recovered from domestic ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goat) from four governorates during a period of five years (2002–2007) was carried out using microbiological tests and molecular biology techniques (PCR, MLVA-15, and sequencing). Thirteen strains were identified as B. melitensis biovar 3 while all phenotypic and genetic techniques classified the remaining isolates as B. abortus ( ) and B. suis biovar 1 ( ). MLVA-15 yielded a high discriminatory power ( ), indicating a high genetic diversity among the B. melitensis strains circulating among domestic ruminants in Egypt. This is the first report of the isolation of B. suis from cattle in Egypt which, coupled with the finding of B. abortus, suggests a potential role of livestock as reservoirs of several zoonotic Brucella species in the region.