Joulié Aurélien

Abstracts

2 Horse Exposition to Coxiella burnetii in France: Antibody Dynamics in Serum, Environmental Risk Assessment and Potential Links with Symptomatology

Authors: Agnès Leblond, Joulié Aurélien, Isabelle Desjardins, Elsa Jourdain, Sophie Pradier, Dufour Philippe, Elodie Rousset

Abstract:

Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It may infect a broad range of host species, including horses. Although the role of horses in C. burnetii infections remains unknown, their use as sentinel species may be interesting to better assess the human risk exposure. Thus, we aimed to assess the C. burnetii horse exposition in a French endemic area by describing the antibody dynamics detected in serum; investigating the pathogen circulation in the horse environment, and exploring potential links with unexplained syndromes. Blood samples were collected in 2015 and 2016 on 338 and 294 horses, respectively and analyzed by ELISA. Ticks collected on horses were identified, and C. burnetii DNA detection was performed by qPCR targeting the IS1111 gene. Blood sample analyses revealed a significant increase of the seroprevalence in horses between both years, from 11% [7.67; 14.43] to 25% [20.06; 29.94]. On 36 seropositive horses in 2015 and 73 in 2016, 5 and four respectively showed clinical signs compatible with a C. burnetii infection (i.e., chronic fever or respiratory disorders, unfitness and unexplained weight loss). DNA was detected in almost 40% of ticks (n=59/148 in 2015 and n=103/305 in 2016) and exceptionally in dust samples (n=2/46 in 2015 and n=1/14 in 2016) every year. The C. burnetti detection in both the serum and the environment of horses confirm their exposure to the bacterium. Therefore, consideration should be given to target a relevant sentinel species to better assess the Q fever surveillance depending on the epidemiological context.

Keywords: ELISA, qPCR, Q fever, syndromic surveillance

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1 In vitro and in vivo Infectivity of Coxiella burnetii Strains from French Livestock

Authors: Joulié Aurélien, Jourdain Elsa, Bailly Xavier, Gasqui Patrick, Yang Elise, Leblond Agnès, Rousset Elodie, Sidi-Boumedine Karim

Abstract:

Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the gram-negative obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Following the recent outbreaks in the Netherlands, a hyper virulent clone was found to be the cause of severe human cases of Q fever. In livestock, Q fever clinical manifestations are mainly abortions. Although the abortion rates differ between ruminant species, C. burnetii’s virulence remains understudied, especially in enzootic areas. In this study, the infectious potential of three C. burnetii isolates collected from French farms of small ruminants were compared to the reference strain Nine Mile (in phase II and in an intermediate phase) using an in vivo (CD1 mice) model. Mice were challenged with 105 live bacteria discriminated by propidium monoazide-qPCR targeting the icd-gene. After footpad inoculation, spleen and popliteal lymph node were harvested at 10 days post-inoculation (p.i). The strain invasiveness in spleen and popliteal nodes was assessed by qPCR assays targeting the icd-gene. Preliminary results showed that the avirulent strains (in phase 2) failed to pass the popliteal barrier and then to colonize the spleen. This model allowed a significant differentiation between strain’s invasiveness on biological host and therefore identifying distinct virulence profiles. In view of these results, we plan to go further by testing fifteen additional C. burnetii isolates from French farms of sheep, goat and cattle by using the above-mentioned in vivo model. All 15 strains display distant MLVA (multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeat analysis) genotypic profiles. Five of the fifteen isolates will bee also tested in vitro on ovine and bovine macrophage cells. Cells and supernatants will be harvested at day1, day2, day3 and day6 p.i to assess in vitro multiplication kinetics of strains. In conclusion, our findings might help the implementation of surveillance of virulent strains and ultimately allow adapting prophylaxis measures in livestock farms.

Keywords: virulence, ruminant, Q fever, invasiveness

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