The Gram-positive bacterium can actively induce its own uptake by epithelial cells and fibroblasts through a surface-exposed 80 kDa protein, internalin (InlA), encoded by We studied the distribution and the DNA polymorphism of sequences in a wide variety of wild strains of as compared to other species. This was done by PCR-amplifying sequences encoding the fifteen repeats A and the three repeats B of InlA. -repeated sequences were only found in The amplified fragment of encoding the repeats A displayed an DNA polymorphism which arises from point mutations. These results indicate that required for cell invasion is specific to and that the intragenic repeats only exhibit a genetic heterogeneity due to point mutations and not to recombinations.


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