VO1, a temperate bacteriophage of the type 19A multiresistant epidemic 8249 strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae: analysis of variability of lytic and putative C5 methyltransferase genes

Microb Drug Resist. Spring 2003;9(1):7-15. doi: 10.1089/107662903764736292.


A temperate bacteriophage (VO1) has been isolated from the Streptococcus pneumoniae type 19F multiresistant epidemic 8249 strain (South African strain). Structural analysis of the specific integration site, protein composition, restriction patterns, and molecular dissection of the lytic system of this phage revealed high sequence similarity with MM1, a temperate phage from the Spain23F-1 strain of pneumococcus, another multiresistant epidemic clone. The different pneumococcal strains sequenced so far exhibit an identical and single attB located in the same site of the genome. Remarkably, the LytA amidase coded by VO1 showed clear differences with that of the host bacterium in contrast with the situation previously documented for bacterial- and phage-coded amidases of pneumococcus. In addition, a new gene (orfmet) putatively coding for a C5 methyltransferase has been identified. A noticeable variability affecting the presence (or absence) of this supernumerary gene(s) in the same region of the genomes of three otherwise highly similar phages (i.e., VO1, MM1, and HB-3) suggests frequent recombinational events leading to introduce variability in this genome region. The peculiarities of genes like lytA and orfmet in VO1 provide interesting insights on mechanisms of horizontal transfer and lysogenic state co-evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Attachment Sites, Microbiological / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase / genetics
  • Siphoviridae / enzymology
  • Siphoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus Phages / enzymology*
  • Streptococcus Phages / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / virology


  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases
  • EJL amidase
  • N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase