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Anaerobe. 2009 Oct;15(5):219-24. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Mar 25.

The intD mobile genetic element from Dichelobacter nodosus, the causative agent of ovine footrot, is associated with the benign phenotype.

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Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.


The Gram-negative anaerobic pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal causative agent of footrot in sheep. The intA, intB and intC elements are mobile genetic elements which integrate into two tRNA genes downstream from csrA (formerly glpA) and pnpA in the D. nodosus chromosome. CsrA homologues act as global repressors of virulence in several bacterial pathogens, as does polynucleotide phosphorylase, the product of pnpA. We have proposed a model in which virulence in D. nodosus is controlled in part by the integration of genetic elements downstream from csrA and pnpA, altering the expression of these putative global regulators of virulence. We describe here a novel integrated genetic element, the intD element, which is 32kb in size and contains an integrase gene, intD, several genes related to genes on other integrated elements of D. nodosus, a type IV secretion system and a putative mobilisation region, suggesting that the intD element has a role in the transfer of other genetic elements. Most of the D. nodosus strains examined which contained the intD gene were benign, with intD integrated next to pnpA, supporting our previous observation that virulent strains of D. nodosus have the intA element next to pnpA.

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