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J Bacteriol. 2009 Dec;191(24):7609-13. doi: 10.1128/JB.01077-09. Epub 2009 Oct 9.

A typhus group-specific protease defies reductive evolution in rickettsiae.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Phylogenomics reveals extreme gene loss in typhus group (TG) rickettsiae relative to the levels for other rickettsial lineages. We report here a curious protease-encoding gene (ppcE) that is conserved only in TG rickettsiae. As a possible determinant of host pathogenicity, ppcE warrants consideration in the development of therapeutics against epidemic and murine typhus.

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