1887

Abstract

Nearly half of US clinical isolates of the emerging pathogen were reported to exhibit smeared DNA during PFGE. This DNA degradation (Dnd) phenotype results from DNA phosphorothioation, a sulfur modification found in other bacteria and conferred by genes located on mobile elements. Putative genes are located on a 19.6 kbp genomic island (GI) in the type strain ATCC 19977. We confirmed that ATCC 19977 is Dnd-positive by PFGE and we developed a PCR assay to predict Dnd phenotype. Dnd-positive strains generated an amplicon from whereas Dnd-negative strains generated a bridge amplicon that spanned the GI insertion site, indicating they lacked the entire ‘Dnd-GI’. Comparative analyses of sequences from the bridge amplicon with ATCC 19977 revealed the Dnd-GI is flanked by 22 bp repeats in and inserted downstream of a gene and between inverted repeats. Regions flanking the Dnd-GI were highly conserved within the complex. Bioinformatics studies suggest the Dnd-GI inserted independently into a strain of and that other species of mycobacteria also have genes, supporting reports that the Dnd phenotype is common among actinomycetes. Within the complex, Dnd-positive clinical isolates were primarily , and tandem repeat typing indicated these isolates were highly related, confirming previous PFGE studies and revealing a widespread family of strains with significance in human disease.

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2013-11-01
2022-01-16
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