Simple sequence repeats (microsatellites): mutational mechanisms and contributions to bacterial pathogenesis. A meeting review

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2004 Jan 15;40(1):11-9. doi: 10.1016/S0928-8244(03)00325-0.


This review summarises the presentations and discussions that took place during a European Science Foundation-funded workshop whose purpose was to gain current perspectives on the mutational mechanisms of simple sequence repeats and the contribution of localised hypermutation in such repeats to bacterial pathogenesis. In vitro biophysical and biochemical assays of mutational mechanisms were covered as well as genetic studies in various eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Presentations on bacterial pathogenesis elaborated investigations of the use of repeats for typing of strains, epidemiological investigations of mutation rates and functions of loci whose expression is controlled by simple sequence repeats. This review tabulates current perspectives on the cis- and trans-acting factors for mutation of simple sequence repeats and the orientations of mononucleotide repeats in some bacterial species that utilise repeats for adaptation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Genetic Markers