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Genetic Exchange.


Israel DA.


In: Mobley HLT, Mendz GL, Hazell SL, editors.


Helicobacter pylori: Physiology and Genetics. Washington (DC): ASM Press; 2001. Chapter 28.


Although the information regarding genetic exchange in H. pylori continues to expand, there remain many unanswered questions. There are little available data regarding transduction in H. pylori. If H. pylori phage exist, they could be important as genetic tools, as well as a potential typing method. Conjugation has been described in vitro, but whether it occurs in vivo is unknown. The mechanism by which H. pylori conjugation occurs is not known, but it appears to be somewhat different from that in E. coli. Although transformation has been studied, there is still much to discover regarding the mechanism and conditions that might favor or inhibit transformation. It is not known how DNA is bound, enters the cell, or is stabilized within the cell. Again, it seems that the mechanism of H. pylori transformation may not be the same as that of the classical gram-negative system. Further, the genes whose products may be predicted to play a role in conjugation or transformation have not yet been well studied, and nothing is known about the regulation of such genes. Finally, although there is one study that indicates gene transfer can occur in vivo based on strains isolated from a human subject, in vivo animal studies need to be performed to shed light on the significance of all three methods for genetic exchange in an environment that recapitulates human gastric mucosa. Ultimately, elucidating the mechanisms of genetic exchange in H. pylori will lead to a better understanding of the immense diversity that exists, as well as further development of genetic tools for the study of H. pylori.

Copyright © 2001, ASM Press.

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