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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Feb 15;183(2):289-94.

The Yersinia high-pathogenicity island is present in different members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.

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Unité de Bactériologie Moléculaire et Médicale, Laboratoire des Yersinia, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr. Roux, 75724, Paris, France.


A pathogenicity island termed high-pathogenicity island (HPI) is present in pathogenic Yersinia. This 35 to 45 kb island carries genes involved in synthesis, regulation and transport of the siderophore yersiniabactin. Recently, the HPI was also detected in various strains of Escherichia coli. In this study, the distribution of the HPI in the family Enterobacteriaceae was investigated. Among the 67 isolates pertaining to 18 genera and 52 species tested, nine (13.4%) harbored the island. These isolates were three E. coli, one Citrobacter diversus and five Klebsiella of various species (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis, Klebsiella ozaenae, Klebsiella planticola, and Klebsiella oxytoca). As in Yersinia sp., all nine isolates synthesized the HPI-encoded iron-repressible proteins HMWP1 and HMWP2. In the K. oxytoca strain, the right-end portion of the HPI was deleted, whereas the entire core region of the island was present in the eight other enterobacteria strains analyzed. In most of these isolates, the HPI was bordered by an asn tRNA locus, as in Yersinia sp. This report thus demonstrates the spread of the HPI among various members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.

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