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Delineation of Streptococcus dysgalactiae, its subspecies, and its clinical and phylogenetic relationship to Streptococcus pyogenes.

TitleDelineation of Streptococcus dysgalactiae, its subspecies, and its clinical and phylogenetic relationship to Streptococcus pyogenes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsJensen, A, Kilian, M
JournalJ Clin Microbiol
Date Published2012 Jan
KeywordsAnimals, Cluster Analysis, DNA, Bacterial, DNA, Ribosomal, Genotype, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Multilocus Sequence Typing, Phylogeny, RNA, Ribosomal, 16S, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Streptococcal Infections, Streptococcus

The taxonomic status and structure of Streptococcus dysgalactiae have been the object of much confusion. Bacteria belonging to this species are usually referred to as Lancefield group C or group G streptococci in clinical settings in spite of the fact that these terms lack precision and prevent recognition of the exact clinical relevance of these bacteria. The purpose of this study was to develop an improved basis for delineation and identification of the individual species of the pyogenic group of streptococci in the clinical microbiology laboratory, with a special focus on S. dysgalactiae. We critically reexamined the genetic relationships of the species S. dysgalactiae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus canis, and Streptococcus equi, which may share Lancefield group antigens, by phylogenetic reconstruction based on multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) and 16S rRNA gene sequences and by emm typing combined with phenotypic characterization. Analysis of concatenated sequences of seven genes previously used for examination of viridans streptococci distinguished robust and coherent clusters. S. dysgalactiae consists of two separate clusters consistent with the two recognized subspecies dysgalactiae and equisimilis. Both taxa share alleles with S. pyogenes in several housekeeping genes, which invalidates identification based on single-locus sequencing. S. dysgalactiae, S. canis, and S. pyogenes constitute a closely related branch within the genus Streptococcus indicative of recent descent from a common ancestor, while S. equi is highly divergent from other species of the pyogenic group streptococci. The results provide an improved basis for identification of clinically important pyogenic group streptococci and explain the overlapping spectrum of infections caused by the species associated with humans.

Alternate JournalJ Clin Microbiol
PubMed ID22075580
PubMed Central IDPMC3256718