Phylogenetic classification of serotype III group B streptococci on the basis of hylB gene analysis and DNA sequences specific to restriction digest pattern type III-3

John F. Bohnsack, Shinji Takahashi, Shauna R. Detrick, Leslie R. Pelinka, Laura L. Hammitt, Adrienne A. Aly, April A. Whiting, Elisabeth E. Adderson

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Previous work divided serotype III group B streptococci (GBS) into 3 major phylogenetic lineages (III-1, III-2, and III-3) on the basis of bacterial DNA restriction digest patterns (RDPs). Most neonatal invasive disease was caused by III-3 strains, which implies that III-3 strains are more virulent than III-2 or III-1 strains. In the current studies, all RDP III-3 and III-1 strains expressed hyaluronate lysase activity; however, all III-2 strains lack hyaluronate lysase activity, because the gene that encodes hyaluronate lysase, hylB, is inactivated by IS1548. Subtractive hybridization was used to identify 9 short DNA sequences that are present in all the III-3 strains but not in any of the III-2 or III-1 strains. With 1 exception, these III-3-specific sequences were not detected in nonserotype III GBS. These data further validate the RDP-based subclassification of GBS and suggest that lineage-specific genes will be identified, which account for the differences in virulence among the lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1697
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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