1887

Abstract

is an enteric pathogen causing community-acquired and hospital-acquired infections in humans. Epidemiological studies have revealed significant diversity in capsular polysaccharide (CPS) type and clinical manifestation of infection in different geographical areas of the world. We have sequenced the capsular polysaccharide synthesis () region of seven clinical isolates and compared the sequences with the publicly available sequence data of five strains: NTUH-K2044 (K1 serotype), Chedid (K2 serotype), MGH78578 (K52 serotype), A1142 (K57 serotype) and A1517. Among all strains, six genes at the 5′ end of the clusters that encode proteins for CPS transportation and processing at the bacterial surface are highly similar to each other. The central region of the gene clusters, which encodes proteins for polymerization and assembly of the CPS subunits, is highly divergent. Based on the collected sequence, we found that either the gene or the gene exists in a given strain, suggesting that there is a major difference in the CPS biosynthesis pathway and that the strains can be classified into at least two distinct groups. All isolates contain , encoding gluconate-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, at the 3′ end of the gene clusters. The genes were found in CPS K9-positive, K14-positive and K52-positive strains, while and were found in K1, K2, K5, K14, K62 and two undefined strains. Our data indicate that, while overall genomic organization is similar between different pathogenic strains, the genetic variation of the sugar moiety and polysaccharide linkage generate the diversity in CPS molecules that could help evade host immune attack.

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2009-12-01
2019-10-19
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