Query: NC_017063:775337 Helicobacter pylori ELS37 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Helicobacter pylori; Helicobacter; Helicobacteraceae; Campylobacterales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This genus consists of organisms that colonize the mucosal layer of the gastrointestinal tract or are found enterohepatically (in the liver). It was only recently discovered (1983) by two Australians (Warren and Marshall) that this organism was associated with peptic ulcers. It is one of the most common chronic infectious organisms, and is found in half the world's population. This organism attacks the gastric epithilial surface, resulting in chronic gastritis, and can cause more severe diseases including those that lead to gastric carcinomas and lymphomas, peptic ulcers, and severe diarrhea. It is an extracellular pathogen that persists in the gastric environment, which has a very low pH, by production of the urease enzyme, which converts urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide, a process which can counteract the acidic environment by production of a base. The toxins include cytolethal distending toxin, vacuolating cytotoxin (VacA) that induces host epithelial cell apopoptosis (cell death), and the cytotoxin associated antigen (CagA) which results in alteration to the host cell signalling pathways. The CagA protein is translocated into host cells by a type IV secretion system encoded by the cag pathogenicity island.
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General Information: This is the type strain (0581, A2084, genotype 62, Group A3.b) for Bacillus anthracis and contains the two virulence plasmids, pOX1 and pOX2, that encode anthrax toxin and capsule, respectively, making this a virulent strain. This strain is considered the "gold standard" for B. anthracis. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.