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Prophages Associated with other Streptococcal Species

Temperate bacteriophages are associated with a number of the other streptococcal species and may well form part of a common pool of phage genetic material that is available for horizontal transfer of virulence and other genes. For example, S. mitis is an occasional cause of infective endocarditis, and bacterial binding of platelets is an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of this disease. Platelet binding by S. mitis is mediated by the surface proteins PblA and PblB, encoded by a lysogenic bacteriophage [66, 67]. Thus, it may well be that S. mitis shares a number of genetic characteristics with the better known pathogenic streptococci, and the analysis of the genome of this organism may reveal even further insights into potential virulence mechanisms. No similar association between a temperate phage and the transmission of virulence traits has been seen yet in S. sanguis or S.gordonii. Bacteriophages have been isolated from both S.bovis and S.suis [5356]; however, any role that these elements play in the dissemination of virulence genes or horizontal transfer is unknown.

Note added in proof

Since the preparation of this chapter, two additional genomes of Group A Streptococci have been published; i.e.,

Sumby P, Porcella SF, Madrigal AG, Barbian KD, Virtaneva K, Ricklefs SM, Stur-devant DE, Graham MR, Vuopio-Varkila J, Hoe NP, Musser JM. Evolutionary Origin and Emergence of a Highly Successful Clone of Serotype Ml Group A Streptococcus Involved Multiple Horizontal Gene Transfer Events, J. Infect. Dis. (2005) 192:771-782; and

Nicole M. Green, Stephen B. Beres, Edward A. Graviss, James E. Allison, Allison J. McGeer, Jaana Vuopio-Varkila, Rance B. LeFebvre, and James M. Musser, Genetic Diversity among Type emm28 Group A Streptococcus Strains Causing Invasive Infections and Pharyngitis, J. Clin. Microbiol. (2005) Vol. 43:4083-4091.

And six additional Group B Streptococcus genomes - in one publication: Hervé Tettelin, Vega Masignani, Michael J. Cieslewicz, Claudio Donati, Duccio Medini, Naomi L. Ward, Samuel V. Angiuoli, Jonathan Crabtree, Amanda L. Jones, A. Scott Durkin, Robert T. DeBoy, Tanja M. Davidsen, Marirosa Mora, Maria Scarselli, Immaculada Margarit y Ros, Jeremy D. Peterson, Christopher R. Hauser, Jaideep P. Sundaram, William C. Nelson, Ramana Madupu, Lauren M. Brinkac, Robert J. Dodson, Mary J. Rosovitz, Steven A. Sullivan, Sean C. Daugh-erty, Daniel H. Haft, Jeremy Selengut, Michelle L. Gwinn, Liwei Zhou, Nikhat Zafar, Hoda Khouri, Diana Radune, George Dimitrov, Kisha Watkins, Kevin J. B. O'Connor, Shannon Smith, Teresa R. Utterback, Owen White, Craig E. Rubens, Guido Grandi, Lawrence C. Madoff, Dennis L. Kasper, John L. Telford, Michael R. Wessels, Rino Rappuoli, and Claire M. Fraser. Genome analysis of multiple pathogenic isolates of Streptococcus agalactiae: Implications for the microbial "pangenome". PNAS (2005) 102: 13950-13955.

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