Variation at the capsule locus, cps, of mistyped and non-typable Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates

Microbiology (Reading). 2012 Jun;158(Pt 6):1560-1569. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.056580-0. Epub 2012 Mar 8.


The capsule polysaccharide locus (cps) is the site of the capsule biosynthesis gene cluster in encapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae. A set of pneumococcal samples and non-pneumococcal streptococci from Denmark, the Gambia, the Netherlands, Thailand, the UK and the USA were sequenced at the cps locus to elucidate serologically mistyped or non-typable isolates. We identified a novel serotype 33B/33C mosaic capsule cluster and previously unseen serotype 22F capsule genes, disrupted and deleted cps clusters, the presence of aliB and nspA genes that are unrelated to capsule production, and similar genes in the non-pneumococcal samples. These data provide greater understanding of diversity at a locus which is crucial to the antigenic diversity of the pathogen and current vaccine strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Capsules / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Capsules / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / classification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins