Query: NC_009567:904922 Haemophilus influenzae PittGG chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Haemophilus influenzae; Haemophilus; Pasteurellaceae; Pasteurellales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Strain PittGG is a non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) isolate recovered by Dr. Robert Wadowsky from the external ear discharge of a spontaneously perforated tympanic membrane of a child in Pittsburgh, USA who had been diagnosed with otorrhea. Causes respiratory tract infections primarily in children. A group of organisms that are either obligate parasites or commensal organisms found in animal mucous membranes. Almost all species require the presence of important growth factors found in the blood of their hosts, including either X factor (protoporphyrin IX or heme) or V factor (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD or NADP)). This organism was first isolated in the 1890s during an influenza pandemic by Pfeiffer, and was originally thought to be the source of influenza, although later it was shown to be a secondary pathogen and may be synergistic with the influenza virus. This bacterium is one of the leading causes of meningitis in young children, and it may also cause septicemia, otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus cavity) and chronic bronchitis. It is highly adapted to its human host and typically lives in the nasopharynx and is a major cause of lower respiratory infections in infants and small children in developing countries (type 1b strain), although vaccine use has resulted in the decline of infections. The encapsulated organism can penetrate the blood and avoid both phagocytosis and complement-mediated lysis. All known strains produce neuraminidase and an IgA protease as well as fimbrial adhesins for attachment.
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General Information: This strain carries the anthrax toxin plasmid pXO1 but not the capsule plasmid pXO2 and is therefore avirulent but toxigenic. It is the counterpart to the Pasteur strain that carries pXO2 but not pXO1. This strain is often used for vaccine development. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.