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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Mar 12;232(1):75-81.

Identification of Mycobacterium marinum virulence genes using signature-tagged mutagenesis and the goldfish model of mycobacterial pathogenesis.

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Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Mycobacterium marinum, a causative agent of fish tuberculosis, is one of the most closely related Mycobacterium species (outside the M. tuberculosis complex) to M. tuberculosis, the etiologic agent of human tuberculosis. Signature-tagged mutagenesis was used to identify genes of M. marinum required for in vivo survival in a goldfish model of mycobacterial pathogenesis. Screening the first 1008 M. marinum mutants led to the identification of 40 putative virulence mutants. DNA sequence analysis of these 40 mutants identified transposon insertions in 35 unique loci. Twenty-eight out of 33 (85%) loci encoding putative virulence genes have homologous genes in M. tuberculosis.

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