Query: NC_016804:1679357 Mycobacterium bovis BCG str. Mexico chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Mycobacterium bovis; Mycobacterium; Mycobacteriaceae; Actinomycetales; Actinobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Like other closely related Actinomycetales, such as Nocardia and Corynebacterium, mycobacteria have unusually high genomic DNA GC content and are capable of producing mycolic acids as major components of their cell wall. This bacterium is the causative agent of classic bovine tuberculosis, but it can also cause the disease in humans, especially if contaminated milk is consumed without prior pasteurization. The Mycobacterium bovis complex is a diverse group of species, serovars and morphotypes that cause tuberculosis-like diseases in animals and humans. Pasteurization of milk is a major preventitive factor in transmission of bovine tuberculosis to humans. However, spreading the disease through milk and dairy products is still a concern in underdeveloped countries where pasteurization is not practiced.
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General Information: This strain was isolated from a human skin biopsy in Brazil, and passaged in nude mice and armadillos. The bacterium is a close relative of M. tuberculosis. However, compared to the latter, the genome of M. leprae is smaller due to reductive genome evolution, with many important metabolic activities including siderophore production, part of the oxidative chain, most of the microaerophilic and anaerobic respiratory chains, and numerous catabolic systems and their regulatory circuits eliminated due to extensive recombination events between dispersed repetitive sequences. It is evident that this species has undergone massive genome reduction over time as a result of its parasitic nature, discarding more than half its genes and rendering it the most striking example of genome reduction in a microbial pathogen.