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P1.011 Whole Genome Sequence of the Treponema Pallidum Ssp. Endemicum, Strain Bosnia A
  1. B Staudova1,
  2. M Strouhal1,
  3. M Zobanikova1,
  4. D Cejkova1,
  5. L Giacani2,
  6. A Centurion-Lara2,
  7. L L Fulton3,
  8. L Chen3,
  9. G M Weinstock3,
  10. D Smajs1
  1. 1Masaryk University Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
  2. 2University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
  3. 3Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, United States


Background Treponema pallidum ssp. endemicum (TEN) is the causative agent of endemic syphilis (bejel). The TEN Bosnia A strain was isolated in 1950 from a patient’s penile lesion in northeastern Bosnia.

Methods To define genetic differences between TEN Bosnia A and other pathogenic treponemes including the agents of syphilis ( T. pallidum ssp. pallidum, TPA)and yaws ( T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, TPE), a high quality sequence of the Bosnia A genome was determined using 454-pyrosequencing, Illumina, SOLiD and traditional Sanger sequencing. Combined average coverage of these sequencing methods was greater than 340x.

Results Compared to other TPA and TPE treponemes, the genome of Bosnia A (1,137,653 bp) was smaller in size (∼2 kb) but structurally almost identical to other TPA and TPE strains. The Bosnia A genome clustered with TPE strains (nucleotide identity excluding indels ranged between 99.91 – 99.94%) while TPAstrains were more distantly related (99.79 – 99.82%). More than 400 Bosnia A-specific nt changes (i.e. sequences different from TPA and TEN genomes) were found as the result of our analysis.

Conclusions The Bosnia A genome showed similar genetic characteristics as other TPA and TPE strains. Genetic differences found between TPA strains and Bosnia A genome could be used for identification of potential virulence factors of syphis treponemes. Moreover, genetic changes specific for Bosnia A genome could help develop molecular diagnostic tests for endemic syphilis.

  • endemic syphilis
  • Treponema pallidum
  • whole genome sequence

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