Presence of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A and C genes in human isolates of group G streptococci.

Abstract

The bacteriophage-associated genes speA and speC encode streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins of group A streptococci (GAS). Human isolates of group C and G streptococci (GCS and GGS) are commensals and the closest known genetic relatives of GAS; on occasion, GCS-GGS can cause infection that is clinically similar to GAS disease. Thirty-four human isolates of GCS-GGS were tested for speA and speC. Two GGS isolates harbored speA only, whereas a third GGS had both genes. All spe alleles found in GGS were identical to known spe alleles of GAS, except for one speA allele, which was unique. The presence of shared speA and speC alleles in GAS and GGS is highly suggestive of recent interspecies transfer. Acquisition of GAS-like virulence genes by GGS may lead to enhanced pathogenicity in this usually commensal-like organism.

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@article{Kalia2003PresenceOS, title={Presence of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A and C genes in human isolates of group G streptococci.}, author={Awdhesh Kalia and Debra E. Bessen}, journal={FEMS microbiology letters}, year={2003}, volume={219 2}, pages={291-5} }