Query: NC_010263:167450 Rickettsia rickettsii str. Iowa, complete genome Lineage: Rickettsia rickettsii; Rickettsia; Rickettsiaceae; Rickettsiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Causative agent for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This organism was first identified by Dr. Howard Rickets as the causative agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which was originally named for its geographic distribution at the time, it is now known to be widespread throughout the North American continent. This bacterium is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects primarily the vascular endothelium, and occasionally smooth muscle tissue. It is passed to the human host from a tick bite, and the tick acts as both a natural reservoir and a vector for disease transmission. Once the organism is endocytosed by the host cell, it quickly escapes the phagozome, and replicates intracellularly, causing cell death and tissue damage. The disease is characterized by a spotted rash and has a high mortality rate if left untreated.
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General Information: This strain is one of the first vancomycin-resistant strains isolated. This isolate came from a blood culture derived from a chronically-infected patient in 1987 from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. This strain was found to lack the cytolysin gene and a surface adhesin, Esp, that contributes to urinary tract infections. Mobile genetic elements make up one quarter of the genome. This genera consists of organisms typically found in the intestines of mammals, although through fecal contamination they can appear in sewage, soil, and water. They cause a number of infections that are becoming increasingly a problem due to the number of antibiotic resistance mechanisms these organisms have picked up. Both Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium cause similar diseases in humans, and are mainly distinguished by their metabolic capabilities. This opportunistic pathogen can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), and infective endocarditis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart), similar to infections caused by Enterococcus faecium. Hospital-acquired infections from this organism are on the rise due to the emergence of antiobiotic resistance strains. Enterococcus faecalis produces a cytolysin toxin that is encoded on various mobile genetic elements, pathogenicity islands, and conjugative plasmids. The cytolysin aids in pathogenesis, possibly by causing destruction of cells such as erythrocytes, which allows access to new nutrients for the organism.