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Review
, 151 (49), 2709-14

[Horizontal Transfer of Bacterial Genes and Its Significance for Antibiotic Resistance and Pathogenicity]

[Article in Dutch]
Affiliations
  • PMID: 18225789
Review

[Horizontal Transfer of Bacterial Genes and Its Significance for Antibiotic Resistance and Pathogenicity]

[Article in Dutch]
L C Smeets et al. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd.

Abstract

* Sexual reproduction does not occur in bacteria. The point of departure in bacterial reproduction is always that one individual divides itself into two identical descendants. * In the bacterial world, however, there is certainly exchange of hereditary characteristics (DNA). This type of exchange is called horizontal gene transfer. * There are 3 basic ways for the exchange of DNA between bacteria: conjugation, transduction and natural transformation. Each of these has its specific impact on the species. * During conjugation, a piece of DNA is copied in one bacterium and transferred to another via a temporary connection, a conjugative pilus. In this way, for example, a particular gene that codes for resistance against antibiotics can be transmitted. * In transduction, the transfer of DNA takes place with the aid of bacteriophages. The gene that codes for the toxin produced by Vibrio cholerae is spread by transduction. * In transformation, DNA that is located outside the cell is fragmented and imported into the cell, after which, via recombination, the DNA replaces a piece of original DNA in the chromosome of the host. Transformation is responsible for, among other things, antigen variation in the pneumococcal capsule. Antigen variation helps the pneumococci to resist the immune response leading to the forming of antibodies and adequate opsonisation.

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