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Microb Pathog. 1999 Jan;26(1):25-33.

Streptococcus pyogenes strains containing emm12 and emm55 possess a novel gene coding for distantly related SIC protein.

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Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Casuarina NT, Australia.


Streptococcus pyogenes infection and acute glomerulonephritis (AGN), a non-suppurtave disease, are endemic in the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. Vir typing, a locus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based typing method [Gardiner, Hartas, Currie et al PCR Meth Appl 1995 4: 288-93], has revealed high divergence among the NT streptococcal strains. A total of 76 Vir types (VTs) representing about 95% of the NT isolates were screened for sic, a gene for streptococcal inhibitor of complement function, by PCR and hybridization. This revealed that seven VTs are positive for sic, and there are two classes of the gene: those closely related to sic (CRS) originally described by Akesson, Sjoholm & Bjorck [ J. Biol. Chem. 1996 271: 1081-8] and those distantly related to sic (DRS). Among the CRS-positive VTs, VT16, VT78 and VT91 have emm (gene for M protein) encoding type 1 M protein or related specificity, and VT8 and VT101 contain emm57 or related alleles. Chromosomal location of CRS in emm57 is different from that in emm1 or related strains. The DRS-positive VT18 and VT52 contained emm55 and emm12 respectively, which are phylogenetically related. Strains of S. pyogenes types 1, 12, 55 and 57 are known to be associated with AGN. Restricted distribution of CRS and DRS among the M types historically associated with AGN suggests that these sic alleles may have a role in AGN pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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