Streptococcus suis is an emerging zoonotic swine pathogen which can cause severe infections in humans. In March 2021, an outbreak of S. suis infections with 19 confirmed cases of septicemia and meningitis leading to two deaths, occurred in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand. We characterized the outbreak through an epidemiological investigation combined with Illumina and Nanopore whole genome sequencing (WGS). The source of the outbreak was traced back to a raw pork dish prepared from a single pig during a Buddhist ceremony attended by 241 people. WGS analysis revealed that a single S. suis serotype 2 strain belonging to a novel sequence type (ST) of the emergent Thai zoonotic clade CC233/379, was responsible for the infections. The outbreak clone grouped together with other Thai zoonotic strains from CC233/379 and CC104 in a global S. suis phylogeny and capsule switching events between serotype 2 zoonotic strains and serotype 7 porcine strains were identified. The outbreak strain showed reduced susceptibility to penicillin corresponding with mutations in key residues in the penicillin binding proteins (PBPs). Furthermore, the outbreak strain was resistant to tetracycline, erythromycin, clindamycin, linezolid and chloramphenicol, having acquired an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) carrying resistance genes tetO and ermB, as well as a transposon from the IS1216 family carrying optrA and ermA. This investigation demonstrates that multi-drug resistant zoonotic lineages of S. suis which pose a threat to human health continue to emerge.
Amsterdam UMC location University of Amsterdam, Department of Global Health, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Paasheuvelweg 25, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Animals, Swine, Humans, Streptococcus suis, Streptococcal Infections, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Drug Resistance, Multiple, Thailand