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Etude de la diversité génotypique et phénotypique de la bactérie Coxiella burnetti chez les ruminants domestiques et les chevaux en France

Abstract : Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis, due to a strict intracellular bacterium: Coxiella burnetii. Domestic ruminants mainly shed the bacteria in parturition products, vaginal mucus and feces. Humans and animals infect by inhalation of circulating pseudo-spores into the environment.Public and veterinary health issues therefore motivated the implementation of this PhD project in order to better control C. burnetii infections on farms. The objectives of this thesis were to provide descriptive epidemiological findings about: (a) circulation dynamics of C. burnetii in a naturally infected flock of sheep; (b) the genotypic diversity of circulating C. burnetii strains on domestic ruminant farms in France; (c) the phenotypic diversity of these strains as demonstrated by the use of two virulence models, one in vivo and one in vitro; and (d) the involvement of horses in the epidemiology of C. burnetii, by studying their exposure and a potential symptomatology.Longitudinal follow-up in a flock of sheep provided relevant tools to rapidly assess the risk of C. burnetii transmission when a flock was identified as infected, in terms of animal pens, diagnostic tools, or sampling periods to be preferred. We also identified three main genotypic groups of circulating strains in domestic ruminant farms in France where Q fever abortion were recorded. Two genotypic groups mainly included small ruminants, with one group mainly composed of sheep and the other mainly composed of goats. The third genotypic group was comprised almost exclusively of cattle. We have shown that the IS1111 gene significantly impacts the genotypic MLVA diversity observed. In addition to this species specificity, we have shown that the circulating genotypes in France were also spatiotemporally stable. We then developed two models of infection, one in vivo by inoculating CD1 male mice in the footpad of and one in vitro by infecting two macrophage cell lines: one bovine (SV40) and one ovine (MoCl4). These two models allowed us to show that the genotypic clusters were not systematically correlated with both the four phenotypic clusters identified in vivo from the analysis of the bacterial load in the mouse spleens and the analysis in vitro of the C. burnetii multiplication kinetics.Finally, the seroprevalence observed in horses within hyperendemic areas for Q fever in humans (Camargue and Plain of La Crau) suggests that horses are exposed to the bacteria in the area and that they may be a relevant indicator of the zoonotic risk. Nevertheless, our results were inconclusive on the clinical forms associated with Q fever in horses.In the future, the findings found in our work will allow a global understanding of the circulation dynamics of C. burnetii on domestic ruminant farms as well as in others animal species. Thus, all these data will ultimately improve surveillance, diagnosis and management of Q fever in public and veterinary health.
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Aurélien Joulié. Etude de la diversité génotypique et phénotypique de la bactérie Coxiella burnetti chez les ruminants domestiques et les chevaux en France. Agronomie. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017CLFAC055⟩. ⟨tel-01781700⟩

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