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BMC Microbiol. 2011 Dec 30;11:269. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-11-269.

Genesis of a novel Shigella flexneri serotype by sequential infection of serotype-converting bacteriophages SfX and SfI.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, China CDC, P,O, Box 5, Changping, Beijing, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Shigella flexneri is the major pathogen causing bacillary dysentery. Fifteen serotypes have been recognized up to now. The genesis of new S. flexneri serotypes is commonly mediated by serotype-converting bacteriophages. Untypeable or novel serotypes from natural infections had been reported worldwide but have not been generated in laboratory.

RESULTS:

A new S. flexneri serotype-serotype 1 d was generated when a S. flexneri serotype Y strain (native LPS) was sequentially infected with 2 serotype-converting bacteriophages, SfX first and then SfI. The new serotype 1 d strain agglutinated with both serotype X-specific anti-7;8 grouping serum and serotype 1a-specific anti- I typing serum, and differed from subserotypes 1a, 1b and 1c. Twenty four S. flexneri clinical isolates of serotype X were all converted to serotype 1 d by infection with phage SfI. PCR and sequencing revealed that SfI and SfX were integrated in tandem into the proA-yaiC region of the host chromosome.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest a new S. flexneri serotype could be created in nature. Such a conversion may be constrained by susceptibility of a strain to infection by a given serotype-converting bacteriophage. This finding has significant implications in the emergence of new S. flexneri serotypes in nature.

PMID:
22208551
PMCID:
PMC3306764
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2180-11-269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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