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Infect Immun. 2009 Sep;77(9):4161-7. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00189-09. Epub 2009 Jul 13.

Genomic analysis of an attenuated Chlamydia abortus live vaccine strain reveals defects in central metabolism and surface proteins.

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  • 1Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore, Maryland 21042, USA.


Comparative genomic analysis of a wild-type strain of the ovine pathogen Chlamydia abortus and its nitrosoguanidine-induced, temperature-sensitive, virulence-attenuated live vaccine derivative identified 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms unique to the mutant, including nine nonsynonymous mutations, one leading to a truncation of pmpG, which encodes a polymorphic membrane protein, and two intergenic mutations potentially affecting promoter sequences. Other nonsynonymous mutations mapped to a pmpG pseudogene and to predicted coding sequences encoding a putative lipoprotein, a sigma-54-dependent response regulator, a PhoH-like protein, a putative export protein, two tRNA synthetases, and a putative serine hydroxymethyltransferase. One of the intergenic mutations putatively affects transcription of two divergent genes encoding pyruvate kinase and a putative SOS response nuclease, respectively. These observations suggest that the temperature-sensitive phenotype and associated virulence attenuation of the vaccine strain result from disrupted metabolic activity due to altered pyruvate kinase expression and/or alteration in the function of one or more membrane proteins, most notably PmpG and a putative lipoprotein.

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