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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Apr 1;149(1):1-10.

Molecular biology of the capsular genes of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


The polysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is the main virulence factor of this microorganism. Although the study of the genes responsible for the synthesis of the pneumococcal capsule enabled genetic and molecular analysis, the precise structure, organization, and functioning of these genes have only been investigated very recently. The genes implicated in the production of the type 3 capsule have been sequenced, expressed and their corresponding products biochemically characterized. In addition, partial information on the genes responsible for the biosynthesis of the capsules of pneumococcal types 1, 14 or 19 F is currently available.

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