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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 Sep;8(5):895-8.

Identification of the psaA gene, coding for pneumococcal surface adhesin A, in viridans group streptococci other than Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Laboratorio de Referencia de Neumococos, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda E-28220, Madrid, Spain.


The gene encoding the pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA) protein has been identified in three different viridans group streptococcal species. Comparative studies of the psaA gene identified in different pneumococcal isolates by sequencing PCR products showed a high degree of conservation among these strains. PsaA is encoded by an open reading frame of 930 bp. The analysis of this fragment in Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus oralis, and Streptococcus anginosus strains revealed a sequence identity of 95, 94, and 90%, respectively, to the corresponding open reading frame of the previously reported Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6B strain. Our results confirm that psaA is present and detectable in heterologous bacterial species. The possible implications of these results for the suitability and potential use of PsaA in the identification and diagnosis of pneumococcal diseases are discussed.

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