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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Nov;41(11):5215-23.

Characterization of genetic differences between Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis type I and type II isolates.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute for Microbiology, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, D-30173 Hannover, Germany.


A combination of representational difference analysis and comparative DNA sequencing revealed that four type I (sheep) isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis were differentiated from nine type II (bovine) isolates by the presence of an 11-bp insertion in a novel M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-specific region of genomic DNA. Further, our studies show that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis type I isolates contain three type-specific loci that are missing in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis type II but are present in M. avium subsp. avium. Taken together, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis type I strains are an evolutionary intermediate between M. avium subsp. avium and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis type II isolates or share a subset of M. avium subsp. avium type-specific loci through horizontal transfer.

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