Dec 2, 2014

Genomic and global approaches to unravelling how hypermutable sequences influence bacterial pathogenesis

Pathogens
Fadil A Bidmos, Christopher D Bayliss

Abstract

Rapid adaptation to fluctuations in the host milieu contributes to the host persistence and virulence of bacterial pathogens. Adaptation is frequently mediated by hypermutable sequences in bacterial pathogens. Early bacterial genomic studies identified the multiplicity and virulence-associated functions of these hypermutable sequences. Thus, simple sequence repeat tracts (SSRs) and site-specific recombination were found to control capsular type, lipopolysaccharide structure, pilin diversity and the expression of outer membrane proteins. We review how the population diversity inherent in the SSR-mediated mechanism of localised hypermutation is being unlocked by the investigation of whole genome sequences of disease isolates, analysis of clinical samples and use of model systems. A contrast is presented between the problematical nature of analysing simple sequence repeats in next generation sequencing data and in simpler, pragmatic PCR-based approaches. Specific examples are presented of the potential relevance of this localized hypermutation to meningococcal pathogenesis. This leads us to speculate on the future prospects for unravelling how hypermutable mechanisms may contribute to the transmission, spread and persistence of ba...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Short Tandem Repeat
Pathogenic Aspects
Fluctuation
Pathogenesis
Genome
Tract
Recombination, Genetic
Genomics
Massively-Parallel Sequencing
Virulence

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