About Neisseria

General information:
Gram-negative diplococci with adjacent sides flattened.
Containing two human pathogenic species, N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, as well as a number of other species that are either pathogneic to animals or are normal flora in either humans or animals.
N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis are exemplary for their ability to adapt to their sole host, the human. Both species possess the ability to colonize human mucosal tissues. N.gonorrhoeae primarily infects the uro- or anorectal mucosa following intimate sexual contact, while N. meningitidis colonizes the nasopharynx after the inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.
One extraordinary characteristic of pathogenic neisseriae is their enormous capability to vary their surface structrues.
Mode of entry: 'zipper' mechanism.
N. gonorrhoeae: gonorrhea.
N. meningitidis: epidemic meningitis.
Selected genomes:comparative pathogenomics
N. gonorrhoeae FA 1090, 2153922 bp, NC_002946
N. gonorrhoeae NCCP11945, 2232025 bp, NC_011035
N. lactamica 020-06, 2220606 bp, NC_014752
N. meningitidis 053442, 2153416 bp, NC_010120
N. meningitidis 8013, 2277550 bp, NC_017501
N. meningitidis alpha14, 2145295 bp, NC_013016
N. meningitidis alpha710, 2242947 bp, NC_017505
N. meningitidis FAM18, 2194961 bp, NC_008767
N. meningitidis G2136, 2184862 bp, NC_017513
N. meningitidis H44/76, 2240883 bp, NC_017516
N. meningitidis M01-240149, 2223518 bp, NC_017514
N. meningitidis M01-240355, 2287777 bp, NC_017517
N. meningitidis M04-240196, 2250449 bp, NC_017515
N. meningitidis MC58, 2272360 bp, NC_003112
N. meningitidis NZ-05/33, 2248966 bp, NC_017518
N. meningitidis WUE 2594, 2227255 bp, NC_017512
N. meningitidis Z2491, 2184406 bp, NC_003116
Related publications:
Tettelin H, et al., 2000. Complete genome sequence of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B strain MC58. Science 287(5459):1809-1815.
Parkhill J, et al., 2000. Complete DNA sequence of a serogroup A strain of Neisseria meningitidis Z2491. Nature 404(6777):502-506.
Bentley SD, et al., 2007. Meningococcal genetic variation mechanisms viewed through comparative analysis of serogroup C strain FAM18. PLoS Genet 3(2):e23.
Peng J, et al., 2008. Characterization of ST-4821 complex, a unique Neisseria meningitidis clone. Genomics 91(1):78-87.
Schoen C, et al., 2008. Whole-genome comparison of disease and carriage strains provides insights into virulence evolution in Neisseria meningitidis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105(9):3473-8.
Chung GT, et al., 2008. Complete genome sequence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae NCCP11945. J Bacteriol 190(17):6035-6036.
Rusniok C, et al., 2009. NeMeSys: a biological resource for narrowing the gap between sequence and function in the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. Genome Biol 10(10):R110.
Joseph B, et al., 2010. Comparative genome biology of a serogroup B carriage and disease strain supports a polygenic nature of meningococcal virulence. J Bacteriol 192(20):5363-77.
Bennett JS, et al., 2010. Independent evolution of the core and accessory gene sets in the genus Neisseria: insights gained from the genome of Neisseria lactamica isolate 020-06. BMC Genomics 11:652.
Schoen C, et al., 2011. Whole-genome sequence of the transformable Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A strain WUE2594. J Bacteriol 193(8):2064-5.
Budroni S, et al., 2011. Neisseria meningitidis is structured in clades associated with restriction modification systems that modulate homologous recombination. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(11):4494-9.
Major virulence factors and their roles in host-pathogen interations

Major virulence factors in Neisseria:
RTX protein
Type IV pili
Opa (Opacity-associated)
Effector delivery system
IgA1 protease
Immune modulation
LOS (Lipooligosaccharide)
NspA (Neisserial surface protein A)
Nutritional/Metabolic factor
Lbp (Lactoferrin-binding protein)
Tbp (Transferrin-binding protein)
Stress survival
MntABC (Manganese transport system)
MsrAB (Methionine sulphoxide reductase)
Antimicrobial activity/Competitive advantage
FarAB (Fatty acid resistance system)
MtrCDE (Multiple transferable resistance system)

Genomic location of virulence-related genes in Neisseria:

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