Poster Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

Genetic characterization of two bacterial species isolated from wild goose eggs on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska (#108)

Cristina Hansen 1 , Elizabeth Himschoot 1 , Danielle Lyons 1 , Karsten Hueffer 1
  1. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, ALASKA, United States

In 2011 and 2012 the rate of nonviable eggs in a nesting population of greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska was noted to be higher than in other monitored populations. Additionally, field biologists noted that some nonviable eggs had a foul smell. Preliminary data recovered DNA sequences from 3 potential egg pathogens. During the summer of 2013, we collected 36 addled eggs and aseptically collected egg contents. We isolated bacteria and obtained 16S rRNA gene sequences from egg contents and pure cultures for identification of bacterial species. A Neisseria species was isolated from 21 addled eggs and sequence data identified the same species in 2 additional eggs. Streptococcus uberis was isolated from 4 addled eggs. 16S rRNA sequence data and preliminary 23S rRNA sequence data suggest that this may be a new species of Neisseria. A multilocus sequencing approach (glucose kinase, transketolase, D-ala-D-ala kinase, thymidine kinase, carbamate kinase, triosephosphate isomerase, and acetyl CoA acetyltransferase) shows that our S. uberis isolates are not clonal and likely have been introduced to this population numerous times. Swab data show that S. uberis DNA (16S or 23S rDNA) is not present in nest contents. These are the first reports of any Neisseria species isolated from bird eggs, and the first report of S. uberis being isolated from bird eggs.