Contagious equine metritis (CEM) is an important venereal disease of horses that is of concern to the thoroughbred industry. Taylorella equigenitalis is a causative agent of CEM but very little is known about it or its close relative Taylorella asinigenitalis. To reveal novel information about Taylorella biology, comparative genomic analyses were undertaken. Whole genome sequencing was performed for the T. equigenitalis type strain, NCTC11184. Draft genome sequences were produced for a second T. equigenitalis strain and for a strain of T. asinigenitalis. These genome sequences were analysed and compared to each other and the recently released genome sequence of T. equigenitalis MCE9. These analyses revealed that T. equigenitalis strains appear to be very similar to each other with relatively little strain-specific DNA content. A number of genes were identified that encode putative toxins and adhesins that are possibly involved in infection. Analysis of T. asinigenitalis revealed that it has a very similar gene repertoire to that of T. equigenitalis but shares surprisingly little DNA sequence identity with it. The generation of genome sequence information greatly increases knowledge of these poorly characterised bacteria and greatly facilitates study of them.
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