Caister Academic Press
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CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2005) 7: 135-150.

Genome-Wide Screens to Identify Genes of Human Pathogenic Yersinia Species that are expressed during Host Infection

Andrew J. Darwin

An obvious goal in the study of bacteria that cause human disease is to identify the bacterial genes required for growth within the host. Historically, this has presented a significant technological challenge. However, with this goal in mind, the in vivo expression technology (IVET) and signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) techniques were developed during the 1990s. These techniques have been used to identify virulence genes in the three human pathogenic Yersinia species, Y. enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis, using variations of their mouse models of infection. In this review, each of these studies is described individually, including the pertinent details of how each was done, and a brief discussion of the genes identified. In addition, the results of these IVET and STM screens are compared, and the striking lack of overlap between the genes identified is discussed. Most of these studies were only recently published, which means that there have been few follow-up studies on some of the novel virulence genes identified. However, the Y. enterocolitica hreP, rscR and psp genes have become the subject of further studies, which are also summarized here. Finally, I briefly describe the use of the genome-wide (but not in vivo) technology, subtractive hybridization, to identify Yersinia virulence genes.

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