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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jun 4;452(1-2):11-5.

Obligate intracellular parasites: Rickettsia prowazekii and Chlamydia trachomatis.

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Department of Molecular Evolution, Biomedical Center, Uppsala, Sweden.


Transitions to obligate intracellular parasitism have occurred at numerous times in the evolutionary past. The genome sequences of two obligate intracellular parasites, Rickettsia prowazekii and Chlamydia trachomatis, were published last year. A comparative analysis of these two genomes has revealed examples of reductive convergent evolution, such as a massive loss of genes involved in biosynthetic functions. In addition, both genomes were found to encode transport systems for ATP and ADP, not otherwise found in bacteria. Here, we discuss adaptations to intracellular habitats by comparing the information obtained from the recently published genome sequences of R. prowazekii and C. trachomatis.

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