Distribution of novel and previously investigated virulence genes in colonizing and invasive isolates of Streptococcus agalactiae

Epidemiol Infect. 2007 Aug;135(6):1046-54. doi: 10.1017/S0950268806007515. Epub 2006 Dec 7.


Although Streptococcus agalactiae has emerged as an important cause of invasive disease, relatively little is known regarding the genetic basis of virulence of this organism. Three novel genes with characteristics suggesting a role in virulence were identified via comparison of sequenced genomes of S. agalactiae. The presence of these genes and of the previously identified genes bac, bca, rib, and spb1 was determined, and isolates were assigned a binary genetic signature. It was found that isolates containing spb1, previously suggested to be limited to serotype III-3, were represented by 18 different genetic signatures and several serotypes, and that the presence of both sbp1 and rib was more predictive of invasive disease than spb1 alone. Additionally, bac-positive isolates, reported to be genetically homogeneous, were represented by 14 different genetic signatures. Finally, the majority of serotype V isolates examined contained zero or only one of the genes tested, suggesting that much remains undiscovered regarding important virulence factors in isolates of this serotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / genetics
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Spb1 protein, Streptococcus agalactiae
  • Virulence Factors