Horizontal gene transfer among group A streptococci: implications for pathogenesis and epidemiology

Trends Microbiol. 1996 Nov;4(11):436-43. doi: 10.1016/0966-842x(96)10058-5.


Recent studies have revealed that there is considerable genetic diversity among the group A streptococci and that horizontal transfer and recombination of virulence genes have played a major role in generating this diversity. This finding has significant implications for our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of these common and highly versatile human pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins*
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / etiology*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / classification
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / genetics*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / pathogenicity
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • streptococcal M protein