Mycobacterial Pathogenomics and Evolution.
Daria Bottai, Timothy P Stinear, Philip Supply, Roland Brosch
Microbiology Spectrum | Published : 2014
Most mycobacterial species are harmless saprophytes, often found in aquatic environments. A few species seem to have evolved from this pool of environmental mycobacteria into major human pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae, the leprosy bacillus, and Mycobacterium ulcerans, the agent of Buruli ulcer. While the pathogenicity of M. ulcerans relates to the acquisition of a large plasmid encoding a polyketide-derived toxin, the molecular mechanisms by which M. leprae or M. tuberculosis have evolved to cause disease are complex and involve the interaction between the pathogen and the host. Here we focus on M. tuberculosis and closely relat..View full abstract