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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Oct;14(10):1511-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1410.071660.

Rise and persistence of global M1T1 clone of Streptococcus pyogenes.

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  • 1Department of Microbiologyand Immunology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. ramy.aziz@salmonella.org

Abstract

The resurgence of severe invasive group A streptococcal infections in the 1980s is a typical example of the reemergence of an infectious disease. We found that this resurgence is a consequence of the diversification of particular strains of the bacteria. Among these strains is a highly virulent subclone of serotype M1T1 that has exhibited unusual epidemiologic features and virulence, unlike all other streptococcal strains. This clonal strain, commonly isolated from both noninvasive and invasive infection cases, is most frequently associated with severe invasive diseases. Because of its unusual prevalence, global spread, and increased virulence, we investigated the unique features that likely confer its unusual properties. In doing so, we found that the increased virulence of this clonal strain can be attributed to its diversification through phage mobilization and its ability to sense and adapt to different host environments; accordingly, the fittest members of this diverse bacterial community are selected to survive and invade host tissue.

PMID:
18826812
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2609857
Free PMC Article
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