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Plasmid. 2002 Jul;48(1):38-48.

Characterisation and genetic organisation of a 24-MDa plasmid from the Brazilian Purpuric Fever clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius.

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Molecular Infectious Diseases Group, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK.


Strains of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius causing septicaemia were identified in Brazil in the 1980s, causing the life-threatening illness of Brazilian Purpuric Fever (BPF). The strains were found to fall into a single clonal group, the BPF clone, characterised by their possession of the approximately 24MDa "3031" plasmid. In this work we report the characterisation and genetic organisation of this plasmid. Analysis of the gene content of what appears to be a typical broad host range conjugative plasmid, its presence in non-BPF strains as revealed by Southern hybridisation, and the recent discovery of plasmid-lacking BPF strains, has led us to conclude that it is unlikely to play a critical role in bacterial virulence. Establishing its entire sequence has nonetheless been an important step on the road to delineating, by comparison of BPF and non-BPF strains, chromosomal genetic loci that are involved in the special virulence of the BPF clone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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