Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Sep 12;97(19):10567-72.

Multiple independent origins of Shigella clones of Escherichia coli and convergent evolution of many of their characteristics.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.


The evolutionary relationships of 46 Shigella strains representing each of the serotypes belonging to the four traditional Shigella species (subgroups), Dysenteriae, Flexneri, Boydii, and Sonnei, were determined by sequencing of eight housekeeping genes in four regions of the chromosome. Analysis revealed a very similar evolutionary pattern for each region. Three clusters of strains were identified, each including strains from different subgroups. Cluster 1 contains the majority of Boydii and Dysenteriae strains (B1-4, B6, B8, B10, B14, and B18; and D3-7, D9, and D11-13) plus Flexneri 6 and 6A. Cluster 2 contains seven Boydii strains (B5, B7, B9, B11, B15, B16, and B17) and Dysenteriae 2. Cluster 3 contains one Boydii strain (B12) and the Flexneri serotypes 1-5 strains. Sonnei and three Dysenteriae strains (D1, D8, and D10) are outside of the three main clusters but, nonetheless, are clearly within Escherichia coli. Boydii 13 was found to be distantly related to E. coli. Shigella strains, like the other pathogenic forms of E. coli, do not have a single evolutionary origin, indicating convergent evolution of Shigella phenotypic properties. We estimate the three main Shigella clusters to have evolved within the last 35,000 to 270,000 years, suggesting that shigellosis was one of the early infectious diseases of humans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk