Chapter 29 : Genetics of Group Streptococci

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Historically, the characteristics of group organisms that have been most studied are competence for DNA-mediated transformation and adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces. With the recent completion of the genome sequence of Challis (CH1), and the recognition of streptococci as critical components in the development of oral biofilms, the main focus of this chapter is to consider the genomics, genetic control, and molecular mechanisms of processes associated with intercellular communication (mediated by peptide pheromones and quorum-sensing molecules), adhesion to surfaces, and host colonization. Upon gaining access to the blood stream, group streptococci can infect the heart valves and endocardium. Strains of group streptococci vary in their abilities to adhere to platelets and to induce platelet aggregation. Genetic studies of group streptococci have significantly advanced one's understanding of the processes involved in transformation, adhesion, and virulence. This knowledge will ultimately lead to new ways of controlling infections caused by these bacteria and by related streptococci. Paradoxically, it is conceivable that organisms such as may, in the future, be considered therapeutic products in novel strategies to combat other infectious diseases.

Citation: Jenkinson H, Vickerman M. 2006. Genetics of Group Streptococci, p 347-355. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch29
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Generic image for table

Summary of oral streptococcal genomes

Data for and are estimates based on unfinished genome sequences from The Institute for Genomic Research (www.tigr.org). Each has been assembled into a pseudomolecule from six to eight times sequence coverage

Citation: Jenkinson H, Vickerman M. 2006. Genetics of Group Streptococci, p 347-355. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch29
Generic image for table

Polypeptide adhesion and colonization factors of

Precursor polypeptide, data from GenBank entries and from genomic sequence available at www.tigr.org.

CWA, cell wall-anchored; SA, cell surface-associated; EP, extracellular (released) protein; LPP, lipoprotein.

Species in which orthologs identified, but not necessarily expressed by all strains.

Strains of carry either the or allele (N. S. Jakubovics, unpublished data).

Citation: Jenkinson H, Vickerman M. 2006. Genetics of Group Streptococci, p 347-355. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch29

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