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    Streptococcus suis is an emerging zoonotic pathogen. Over 100 putative virulence factors have been described, but it is unclear to what extent these virulence factors could contribute to zoonotic potential of S. suis. We identified all S. suis virulence factors studied in experimental models of human origin in a systematic review and assessed their contribution to zoonotic potential in a subsequent genomic meta-analysis. PubMed and Scopus were searched for English-language articles that studied S. suis virulence published until 31 March 2021. Articles that analyzed a virulence factor by knockout mutation, purified protein, and/or recombinant protein in a model of human origin, were included. Data on virulence factor, strain characteristics, used human models and experimental outcomes were extracted. All publicly available S. suis genomes with available metadata on host, disease status and country of origin, were included in a genomic meta-analysis. We calculated the ratio of the prevalence of each virulence factor in human and pig isolates. We included 130 articles and 1703 S. suis genomes in the analysis. We identified 53 putative virulence factors that were encoded by genes which are part of the S. suis core genome and 26 factors that were at least twice as prevalent in human isolates as in pig isolates. Hhly3 and NisK/R were particularly enriched in human isolates, after stratification by genetic lineage and country of isolation. This systematic review and genomic meta-analysis have identified virulence factors that are likely to contribute to the zoonotic potential of S. suis.


    Thomas J Roodsant, Boas C L Van Der Putten, Sara M Tamminga, Constance Schultsz, Kees C H Van Der Ark. Identification of Streptococcus suis putative zoonotic virulence factors: A systematic review and genomic meta-analysis. Virulence. 2021 Dec;12(1):2787-2797

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    PMID: 34666617

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