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, Rance B Lefebvre, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 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

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

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