Molecular epidemiology and genomics of group A Streptococcus

Infect Genet Evol. 2015 Jul;33:393-418. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.10.011. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus; GAS) is a strict human pathogen with a very high prevalence worldwide. This review highlights the genetic organization of the species and the important ecological considerations that impact its evolution. Recent advances are presented on the topics of molecular epidemiology, population biology, molecular basis for genetic change, genome structure and genetic flux, phylogenomics and closely related streptococcal species, and the long- and short-term evolution of GAS. The application of whole genome sequence data to addressing key biological questions is discussed.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Evolution; Genomics; Group A Streptococcus; Population biology; Streptococcus pyogenes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / classification*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / genetics*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / virology
  • Virulence / genetics


  • DNA Transposable Elements