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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1999 Jan;23(1):69-91.

Strategies for isolation of in vivo expressed genes from bacteria.

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Molecular Microbiology and Protein Engineering, Health and Life Sciences Research Center, Quebec, Canada.


The discovery and characterization of genes specifically induced in vivo upon infection and/or at a specific stage of the infection will be the next phase in studying bacterial virulence at the molecular level. Genes isolated are most likely to encode virulence-associated factors or products essential for survival, bacterial cell division and multiplication in situ. Identification of these genes is expected to provide new means to prevent infection, new targets for, antimicrobial therapy, as well as new insights into the infection process. Analysis of genes and their sequences initially discovered as in vivo induced may now be revealed by functional and comparative genomics. The new field of virulence genomics and their clustering as pathogenicity islands makes feasible their in-depth analysis. Application of new technologies such as in vivo expression technologies, signature-tagged mutagenesis, differential fluorescence induction, differential display using polymerase chain reaction coupled to bacterial genomics is expected to provide a strong basis for studying in vivo induced genes, and a better understanding of bacterial pathogenicity in vivo. This review presents technologies for characterization of genes expressed in vivo.

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