Journal Article

Superantigen-like gene(s) in human pathogenic <i>Streptococcus dysgalactiae</i>, subsp. <i>equisimilis</i>: genomic localisation of the gene encoding streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G (<i>speG<sup>dys</sup></i>)

Svea Sachse, Peter Seidel, Dieter Gerlach, Elisabeth Günther, Jürgen Rödel, Eberhard Straube and Karl-Hermann Schmidt

in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology

Published on behalf of Federation of Microbiological Societies

Volume 34, issue 2, pages 159-167
Published in print October 2002 | ISSN: 0928-8244
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-695X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2002.tb00618.x
Superantigen-like gene(s) in human pathogenic Streptococcus dysgalactiae, subsp. equisimilis: genomic localisation of the gene encoding streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G (speGdys)

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Abstract

Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) causes about 90% of streptococcal human infections while group C (GCS) and G (GGS) streptococci can be pathogenic for different mammalians. Especially the human pathogenic GCS and GGS, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, subsp. equisimilis, account for 5–8% of the human streptococcal diseases like wound infections, otitis media, purulent pharyngitis and also streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. A defined superantigen so far was not identified in GCS and GGS strains. In the present investigation we screened DNA of GCS and GGS human isolates for the presence of genes for streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins (spe) by hybridisation with probes that stand for the GAS genes speA, speC, speZ (smeZ), speH, speG, speI, speJ and ssa. In many GCS and GGS strains we found positive reactions with the probes speG, speJ and ssa, but not with the probes for the remaining genes under investigation. PCR amplification with subsequent sequence analysis of the PCR fragments revealed only the presence of the gene speG in GCS and GGS strains, while no DNA fragments specific for speJ and ssa could be amplified. Additionally, the upstream and downstream regions flanking speG in GGS strain 39072 were sequenced. Remarkable differences were found in the neighbourhood of speG between GAS and GGS sequences. Downstream of speG we identified in strain GGS 39072 two new open reading frames encoding proteins with no similarity to protein sequences accessible in the databases so far. In the compared GAS strains SF370 and MGAS8232, this segment, apart from some small fragments, had been deleted. Our analysis suggests that a gene transfer from GGS to GAS has preceded following deletion of the two genes orf1 and orf2 in GAS.

Keywords: Superantigen; Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin G; Genomic organisation; Gene transfer; Streptococcus; Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis

Journal Article.  4393 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Biotechnology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Microbiology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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