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 organism was found to be linked to an increasing incidence of liver tumors in mouse colonies at the National Cancer Institute in 1992. Normally it resides in the lower intestines, but it can cause chronic hepatitis. This organism has a similar urease gene cluster and cytolethal distending toxin as compared to Helicobacter pylori, but lacks other virulence factors such as the vacuolating cytotoxin and the cag pathogenicity island. However, it does contain a pathogenicity island that encodes proteins similar to those found in a type IV secretion system. Causes liver disease. This genus consists of organisms that colonize the mucosal layer of the gastrointestinal tract or are found enterohepatically (in the liver). This species was associated with an increase in liver tumors. It can cause active chronic hepatitis and typhlitis (inflammation of a region at the beginning of the large intestine), hepatocellular tumors, and gastric bowel disease in various mice strains.