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CDC, Agencourt, University of Maryland Researchers Sequence Rickettsial Genome

NEW YORK, June 17-Agencourt said today that its researchers, working with scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had sequenced the genome of Rickettsia siberica, one of the bacteria that cause typhoid fevers.


Researchers at the CDC and the University of Maryland School of Medicine supplied Agencourt with purified bacterial DNA for the project.


The sequencing itself took only a week, Agencourt said.


The three collaborators will work to annotate the sequence and identify genes and proteins with the ultimate aim of developing new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.


The CDC holds the rights to the sequence information.


Rickettsia siberica causes North Asian tick typhus. It is one of 16 pathogenic bacteria in the Rickettsial genus, related to agents that cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-related typhus. In part, this research group hopes to explain why many other Rickettsia do not apparently cause disease in humans.


According to The Institute for Genomic Research microbial genome database, two other strains of Rickettsia, R. conorii and R. prowazekii, have been fully sequenced.

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