The Recent Evolution of a Maternally-Inherited Endosymbiont of Ticks Led to the Emergence of the Q Fever Pathogen,


How virulent infectious diseases emerge from non-pathogenic organisms is a challenging question. Here, we address this evolutionary issue in the case of Q fever. Its causative agent, the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, is extremely infectious to humans and a variety of animals. However, uncertainty persists regarding its evolutionary origin, including the identity and lifestyle of its ancestors. In this article, we show that C. burnetii arose from a rare evolutionary transformation of a maternally-inherited endosymbiont of ticks into a specialized and virulent pathogen of vertebrates. While arthropod symbionts are typically transmitted maternally and thought not to be infectious to vertebrates, we establish here that one Coxiella symbiont has evolved the necessary adaptations to exploit the vertebrate cell, leading to the emergence of Q fever.


Vyšlo v časopise: The Recent Evolution of a Maternally-Inherited Endosymbiont of Ticks Led to the Emergence of the Q Fever Pathogen,. PLoS Pathog 11(5): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004892
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004892

Souhrn

How virulent infectious diseases emerge from non-pathogenic organisms is a challenging question. Here, we address this evolutionary issue in the case of Q fever. Its causative agent, the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, is extremely infectious to humans and a variety of animals. However, uncertainty persists regarding its evolutionary origin, including the identity and lifestyle of its ancestors. In this article, we show that C. burnetii arose from a rare evolutionary transformation of a maternally-inherited endosymbiont of ticks into a specialized and virulent pathogen of vertebrates. While arthropod symbionts are typically transmitted maternally and thought not to be infectious to vertebrates, we establish here that one Coxiella symbiont has evolved the necessary adaptations to exploit the vertebrate cell, leading to the emergence of Q fever.


Zdroje

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