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    Proteus species are well-known opportunistic pathogens frequently associated with skin wound and urinary tract infections in humans and animals. O antigen diversity is important for bacteria to adapt to different hosts and environments, and has been used to identify serotypes of Proteus isolates. At present, 80 Proteus O-serotypes have been reported. Although the O antigen structures of most Proteus serotypes have been identified, the genetic features of these O antigens have not been well characterized. The O antigen gene clusters of Proteus species are located between the cpxA and secB genes. In this study, we identified 55 O antigen gene clusters of different Proteus serotypes. All clusters contain both the wzx and wzy genes and exhibit a high degree of heterogeneity. Potential functions of O antigen-related genes were proposed based on their similarity to genes in available databases. The O antigen gene clusters and structures were compared, and a number of glycosyltransferases were assigned to glycosidic linkages. In addition, an O serotype-specific suspension array was developed for detecting 31 Proteus serotypes frequently isolated from clinical specimens. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive report to describe the genetic features of Proteus O antigens and to develop a molecular technique to identify different Proteus serotypes.


    Xiang Yu, Agnieszka Torzewska, Xinjie Zhang, Zhiqiu Yin, Dominika Drzewiecka, Hengchun Cao, Bin Liu, Yuriy A Knirel, Antoni Rozalski, Lei Wang. Genetic diversity of the O antigens of Proteus species and the development of a suspension array for molecular serotyping. PloS one. 2017;12(8):e0183267

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    PMID: 28817637

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