Query: NC_017517:1377617 Neisseria meningitidis M01-240355 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Neisseria meningitidis; Neisseria; Neisseriaceae; Neisseriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: The second of two pathogenic Neisseria, this organism causes septicemia and is the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord) in children. This organism typically residies in the nasopharynx cavity but can invade the respiratory epthelial barrier, cross into the bloodstream and the blood brain barrier, and cause inflammation of the meninges. Pathogenicity factors include the surface proteins (porins and opacity proteins), and the type IV pilus (which is also found in Neisseria gonorrhoeae). This organism, like Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is naturally competent, and protein complexes at the cell surface recognize the uptake signal sequence in extracellular DNA, an 8mer that is found at high frequency in Neisseria chromosomal DNA.
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General Information: This organism is found in adult humans and formula fed infants as a normal component of gut flora. Representatives of this genus naturally colonize the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and are important for establishing and maintaining homeostasis of the intestinal ecosystem to allow for normal digestion. Their presence has been associated with beneficial health effects, such as prevention of diarrhea, amelioration of lactose intolerance, or immunomodulation. The stabilizing effect on GIT microflora is attributed to the capacity of bifidobacteria to produce bacteriocins, which are bacteriostatic agents with a broad spectrum of action, and to their pH-reducing activity.