Complete genome sequence of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B strain MC58
Tettelin H, Saunders NJ, Heidelberg J, Jeffries AC, Nelson KE, Eisen JA, Ketchum KA, Hood DW, Peden JF, Dodson RJ, Nelson WC, Gwinn ML, DeBoy R, Peterson JD, Hickey EK, Haft DH, Salzberg SL, White O, Fleischmann RD, Dougherty BA, Mason T, Ciecko A, Parksey DS, Blair E, Cittone H, Clark EB, Cotton MD, Utterback TR, Khouri H, Qin H, Vamathevan J, Gill J, Scarlato V, Masignani V, Pizza M, Grandi G, Sun L, Smith HO, Fraser CM, Moxon ER, Rappuoli R, Venter JC
The 2,272,351-base pair genome of Neisseria meningitidis strain MC58 (serogroup B), a causative agent of meningitis and septicemia, contains 2158 predicted coding regions, 1158 (53.7%) of which were assigned a biological role. Three major islands of horizontal DNA transfer were identified; two of these contain genes encoding proteins involved in pathogenicity, and the third island contains coding sequences only for hypothetical proteins. Insights into the commensal and virulence behavior of N. meningitidis can be gleaned from the genome, in which sequences for structural proteins of the pilus are clustered and several coding regions unique to serogroup B capsular polysaccharide synthesis can be identified. Finally, N. meningitidis contains more genes that undergo phase variation than any pathogen studied to date, a mechanism that controls their expression and contributes to the evasion of the host immune system.