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Prospection of the impact of genetic diversity of group B Streptococcus on disease control strategies in the State of Paraíba through a One Health based approach

Abstract

Streptococcus agalactiae, or group B Streptococcus, is a human pathogen recognized worldwide for neonatal mortality as well as infections in pregnant women and debilitated adults with significant mortality. Equitably, it is a relevant pathogen in animal health, with mastitis being the main source of economic losses in dairy herds of regions without control strategies. Strategies for preventing S. agalactiae infections have been based mainly on prophylactic administration of antimicrobials, and more recently, capsular vaccines are under investigation. The term One Health represents the vision of unified efforts in the fields of veterinary, human and environmental health. In this context, bacterial resistance to antimicrobials is a severe risk to human and animal health and is one of the few evolutionary processes that can be observed in real-time. The origin of genetic elements presents in human and animal pathogens can indeed be traced back to environmental microorganisms. Thus, zoonoses and reverse zoonoses gain prominence in determining the emergence and dissemination of resistance mechanisms, virulence, and interspecies capsular serotypes. This project aims to characterize strains of human and animal microbiota (cattle and goats) in Paraíba State, investigating the presence of genetic elements to determine interspecies relationships and their potential impact on prevention strategies. Bacterial isolates will be obtained from the routine of Lauro Wanderley University Hospital in João Pessoa / PB and the analysis of milk from cariri, agreste, and Paraiba forest areas. Data will be collected from medical records and questionnaires will be applied to those responsible for rural properties. Bacterial isolates will be identified at the species level by phenotypic and genotypic testing, and clones will be identified by PFGE. Susceptibility to antimicrobials will be determined by phenotypic testing, and for high resistance profile samples, beta-lactams, lincosamides, and macrolides resistance genes will be screened. Twenty isolates will be selected for the complete genome sequencing. With these, we can determine the types of sequences by MLST and verify the role of mobile genetic elements in the dissemination of resistance and virulence genes in the genome. We emphasize that knowledge about this pathogen, especially in a particular region such as the interior of Paraíba, is extremely scarce, and the distribution of capsular serotypes and determinants of resistance/virulence suffer local changes, and it is not appropriate to extrapolate data from other regions. Due to the imminent introduction of vaccines for S. agalactiae, we have also experienced a unique period for obtaining data that will support its incorporation into the Health System and investigate possible adaptive mechanisms of the pathogen. (AU)

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