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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2019 Jul-Sep;37(3):423-425. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_19_469.

Insights to the diphtheria toxin encoding prophages amongst clinical isolates of Corynebacterium diphtheriae from India.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
2
Department of Paediatrics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
3
World Health Organization Country Office, New Delhi, India.
4
King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
5
State Public Health Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, India.
6
Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital, New Delhi, India.
7
Choithram Hospital and Research Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Abstract

Diphtheria is a dreadful disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Lysogenised bacteriophages carrying toxin gene in C. diphtheriae can make the strain toxigenic. However, such phage disseminates the toxin genes to other strains when it undergoes lytic phase. As little is known about the phage diversity in C. diphtheriae in India, the present study was undertaken to investigate the prophages integrated into the genome of 29 clinical isolates of C. diphtheriae using whole-genome shotgun sequencing. Amongst these isolates, 27 were toxigenic, while 2 were non-toxigenic strains. Of the 27 toxigenic strains, all harbored known phages carrying toxin gene and two other phages with unknown function. However, the two non-toxin strains did not harbour any of the phages in the genome. It is imperative to devise prevention strategies that hinder the dissemination of toxin by prophages, as it may increase the complications of diphtheria post-immunisation.

KEYWORDS:

Bacteriophage; Corynebacterium diphtheriae; non-toxigenic; toxin; whole-genome sequencing

PMID:
32003344
DOI:
10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_19_469
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