Diseases caused by Streptococcus suis are a significant economic and welfare concern in pigs as well as in humans. Several molecular methods have been applied to investigate S. suis strain diversity and identify phylogenetic groups. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST), commonly used to differentiate between S. suis strains, has been instrumental in identifying that the species is genetically highly diverse. Recent advances in whole-genome analysis have resulted in schemes permitting the classification of S. suis populations as pathogenic or non-pathogenic, or disease-associated or non-disease associated. Here, we review these and other molecular approaches that can be used for surveillance, outbreak tracking, preventative health management, effective treatment and control, as well as vaccine development, including PCR based-assays that are easy to apply in modest diagnostic settings and which allow for the rapid screening of a large number of isolates at relatively low cost, granting the identification of several major clonal complexes of the S. suis population.
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