PubMed 25989189

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Title: Sequence Type 4821 Clonal Complex Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis in China, 1978-2013.

Authors: Bingqing Zhu, Zheng Xu, Pengcheng Du, Li Xu, XiaoFang Sun, Yuan Gao, Zhujun Shao

Journal, date & volume: Emerging Infect. Dis., 2015 Jun , 21, 925-32

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Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis strains belonging to sequence type 4821 clonal complex (CC4821), a hyperinvasive lineage first identified for serogroup C in 2003, have been increasingly isolated in China. We characterized the outer membrane protein genes of 48 serogroup B and 214 serogroup C strains belonging to CC4821 and analyzed the genomic sequences of 22 strains. Four serogroup B strains had porin A (i.e., PorA), PorB, and ferric enterobactin transport (i.e., FetA) genotypes identical to those for serogroup C. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomic sequences showed that the 22 CC4821 strains from patients and healthy carriers were unevenly clustered into 2 closely related groups; each group contained serogroup B and C strains. Serogroup B strains appeared variable at the capsule locus, and several recombination events had occurred at uncertain breakpoints. These findings suggest that CC4821 serogroup C N. meningitidis is the probable origin of highly pathogenic CC4821 serogroup B strains.