Genome sequence of a serotype M28 strain of group A Streptococcus: Potential new insights into puerperal sepsis and bacterial disease specificity

Nicole M. Green, Shizhen Zhang, Stephen F. Porcella, Michal J. Nagiec, Kent D. Barbian, Stephen B. Beres, Ranee B. LeFebvre, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

180 Scopus citations

Abstract

Puerperal sepsis, a major cause of death of young women in Europe in the 1800s, was due predominantly to the gram-positive pathogen group A Streptococcus. Studies conducted during past decades have shown that serotype M28 strains are the major group A Streptococcus organisms responsible for many of these infections. To begin to increase our understanding of their enrichment in puerperal sepsis, we sequenced the genome of a genetically representative strain. This strain has genes encoding a novel array of prophage virulence factors, cell-surface proteins, and other molecules likely to contribute to host-pathogen interactions. Importantly, genes for 7 inferred extracellular proteins are encoded by a 37.4-kb foreign DNA element that is shared with group B Streptococcus and is present in all serotype M28 strains. Proteins encoded by the 37.4-kb element were expressed extracellularly and in human infections. Acquisition of foreign genes has helped create a disease-specialist clone of this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-770
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume192
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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