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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007 Mar;49(2):243-51. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

DNA repair profiles of disease-associated isolates of Neisseria meningitidis.

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  • 1Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience and Institute of Microbiology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


Neisseria meningitidis, or the meningococcus, is the source of significant morbidity and mortality in humans worldwide. Even though mutability has been linked to the occurrence of outbreaks of epidemic disease, meningococcal DNA repair pathways are poorly delineated. For the first time, a collection of meningococcal disease-associated isolates has been demonstrated to express constitutively the DNA glycosylases MutY and Fpg in vivo. DNA sequence analysis showed considerable variability in the deduced amino acid sequences of MutS and Fpg, while MutY and RecA were highly conserved. Interestingly, multi-locus sequence typing demonstrated a putative link between the pattern of amino acid substitutions and levels of spontaneous mutagenicity in meningococcal strains. These results provide a basis for further studies aimed at resolving the genotype/phenotype relationships of meningococcal genome variability and mutator activity.

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