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Res Microbiol. 2011 Jun;162(5):483-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Sequence analysis of serotype-specific synthesis regions II of Haemophilus influenzae serotypes c and d: evidence for common ancestry of capsule synthesis in Pasteurellaceae and Neisseria meningitidis.

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Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology, Consultant Laboratory for Haemophilus influenzae, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2 (E1), 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


Sequencing of yet unknown Haemophilus influenzae serotype c (Hic) and d (Hid) capsule synthesis regions II revealed four (ccs1-4) and five (dcs1-5) open reading frames, respectively. The inferred gene functions were in line with capsular polysaccharide structures. One or more proteins encoded by the Hic capsule synthesis region II showed similarity to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 and Actinobacillus suis K1 enzymes. Orthologues to the complete operon were observed in Actinobacillus minor strain 202, where even the gene order was conserved. Furthermore, Ccs4 was related to the capsule O-acetyltransferase of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W-135. For the Hid locus, similarities to Hie, Mannheimia haemolytica A1 and N. meningitidis serogroup A were identified and the succession of genes was similar in the different species. The resemblance of genes and gene organization found for Hic and Hid with other species suggested horizontal gene transfer during capsule evolution across the bacterial classes.

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