Query: NC_010117:1461502 Coxiella burnetii RSA 331, complete genome Lineage: Coxiella burnetii; Coxiella; Coxiellaceae; Legionellales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This strain (RSA 331; Hentzerling) is associated with acute Q fever and was isolated from the blood of an infected patient in northern Italy in 1945. This organism is widely distributed in nature and can cause infections in reptiles, birds, and mammals. It causes Q fever, or 'query' fever, an atypical pneumonia first associated with abattoir workers in Australia. Transmission may be through insect vectors such as ticks that have bitten an infected wild or domesticated animal, or through an aerosol produced by domesticated animals such as sheep or cattle. The presence of a plasmid is believed to be associated with virulence and pathogenicity, however C. burnetii isolates containing plasmid QpDG are avirulent in guinea pigs and plasmidless isolates have been associated with endocarditis in humans. Coxiella burnetii has a developmental life cycle, and can grow vegetatively through binary fission, or asymmetrically and produce a spore-like cell. The spore-like cell may enable the organism to exist extracellularly for small amounts of time. This bacterium is an obligate intracellular pathogen. It is endocytosed by a host cell, a macrophage for example, and lives and replicates inside the phagolysozome, a unique property of this organism. The genome encodes proteins that have a higher than average pI, which may enable adaptation to the acidic environment of the phagolysozome. The chromosome also contains genes for a number of detoxification and stress response proteins such as dismutases that allow growth in the oxidative environment. The type IV system is similar to the one found in Legionella, which may be important for intracellular survival. This organism produces numerous ankyrin-repeat proteins that may be involved in interactions with the host cell. The genome has 83 pseudogenes, which may be a result of the typical genome-wide degradation observed with other intracellular organisms and also has a group I intron in the 23S ribosomal RNA gene.
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General Information: This strain was probably isolated from salmon eggs associated with a foodborne case of botulism in Alaska, however the exact details are not available. This genus comprises about 150 metabolically diverse species of anaerobes that are ubiquitous in virtually all anoxic habitats where organic compounds are present, including soils, aquatic sediments and the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. This shape is attributed to the presence of endospores that develop under conditions unfavorable for vegetative growth and distend single cells terminally or sub-terminally. Spores germinate under conditions favorable for vegetative growth, such as anaerobiosis and presence of organic substrates. It is believed that present day Mollicutes (Eubacteria) have evolved regressively (i.e., by genome reduction) from gram-positive clostridia-like ancestors with a low GC content in DNA. This organism produces one of the most potent and deadly neurotoxins known, a botulinum toxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby inhibiting muscle contraction and causing paralysis. In most cases the diseased person dies of asphyxiation as a result of paralysis of chest muscles involved in breathing. The spores are heat-resistant and can survive in inadequately heated, prepared, or processed foods. Spores germinate under favorable conditions (anaerobiosis and substrate-rich environment) and bacteria start propagating very rapidly, producing the toxin.Botulinum toxin, and C. botulinum cells, has been found in a wide variety of foods, including canned ones. Almost any food that has a high pH (above 4.6) can support growth of the bacterium. Honey is the most common vehicle for infection in infants. Food poisoning through C. botulinum is the most frequent type of infection caused by this bacterium. The wound botulism that occurs when C. botulinum infects an individual via an open wound is much rarer and is very similar to tetanus disease. There are several types of botulinum toxin known (type A through type F), all of them being neurotoxic polypeptides. The most common and widely distributed are strains and serovars of C. botulinum that produce type A toxin.