Identification of a chimeric emm gene and novel emm pattern in currently circulating strains of emm4 Group A Streptococcus.
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is classified on the basis of the sequence of the gene encoding the M protein (emm) and the patterns into which emm types are grouped. We discovered a novel emm pattern in emm4 GAS, historically considered pattern E, arising from a fusion event between emm and the adjacent enn gene. We identified the emm-enn fusion event in 51 out of 52 emm4 GAS strains isolated by national surveillance in 2015. GAS isolates with an emm-enn fusion event completely replaced pattern E emm4 strains over a 4-year span in Houston (2013-2017). The novel emm-enn gene fusion and new emm pattern has potential vaccine implications.
DebRoy, S; Li, X; Kalia, A; Galloway-Pena, J; Shah, BJ; Fowler, VG; Flores, AR; Shelburne, SA
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