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.
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