Genome Analysis Reveals Pili in Group B Streptococcus

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Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 105
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111563

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Pili are essential virulence factors in many Gram-negative bacteria; however, they have not been described in most important Gram-positive pathogens. While screening the sequence of multiple genomes of Group B Streptococcus, we identified protective antigens that formed high molecular weight polymers. Immunogold electron microscopy revealed that the structures have a pilus-like form. These large structures have gone unrecognized in decades of studies of Group B Streptococcus.

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