Molecular population genetic evidence of horizontal spread of two alleles of the pyrogenic exotoxin C gene (speC) among pathogenic clones of Streptococcus pyogenes

Vivek Kapur, K. Nelson, P. M. Schlievert, R. K. Selander, J. M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has recently been demonstrated that the bacteriophage-borne gene (speC) encoding pyrogenic exotoxin C is harbored by phylogenetic lineages representing virtually the entire breadth of genomic differentiation present in the species Streptococcus pyogenes (J. M. Musser, A. R. Hauser, M. H. Kim, P. M. Schlievert, K. Nelson, and R. K. Selander, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88:2668-2672, 1991). To determine whether the speC genes occurring in association with divergent chromosomal genotypes (clones) are identical or represent a group of allelic variants, we sequenced speC from 23 S. pyogenes strains representing 15 clones identified by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Two alleles of speC are present in natural populations, and each allele occurs in clones that are well differentiated in overall chromosomal character; in one case, isolates of a single clone had different speC alleles. We interpret these patterns of toxin allele-clone distribution as evidence of occasional episodes of speC horizontal dissemination, presumably by bacteriophage-mediated gene transfer and recombination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3513-3517
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume60
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular population genetic evidence of horizontal spread of two alleles of the pyrogenic exotoxin C gene (speC) among pathogenic clones of Streptococcus pyogenes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this