Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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A new rapid and cost-effective method for detection of phages, ICEs and virulence factors encoded by Streptococcus pyogenes.

Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) is a human pathogen that causes diseases of various intensity, from mild strep throat to life threatening invasive infections and postinfectional sequelae. S. pyogenes encodes multiple, often phage encoded, virulence factors and their presence is related to severity of the disease. Acquisition of mobile genetic elements, carrying virulence factors, as phages or ICEs (integrative and cojugative elements) has been shown previously to promote selection of virulent clones. We designed the system of eight low volume multi- and one singleplex PCR reactions to detect genes encoding twenty virulence factors (spd3, sdc, sdaB, sdaD, speB, spyCEP, scpA, mac, sic, speL, K, M, C, I, A, H, G, J, smeZ and ssa) and twenty one phage and ICE integration sites described so far for S. pyogenes. Classification of strains based on the phage and virulence factors absence or presence, correlates with PFGE MLST and emm typing results. We developed a novel, fast and cost effective system that can be used to detect GAS virulence factors. Moreover, this system may become an alternative and effective system to differentiate between GAS strains.

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