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 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 causes a range of infections similar to those observed with Enterococcus faecalis, including urinary tract infections, bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), and infective endocarditis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart). Hospital-acquired infections from this organism are on the rise due to the emergence of antiobiotic resistance strains and has led to the rise of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains due to the horizontal transfer of Enterococcus antibiotic resistance genes. Little is known about the virulence mechanisms in this organism, but the genome does encode an esp gene for the surface adhesin. Vancomycin resistant isolates are more typically Enterococcus faecium than Enterococcus faecalis.