Comparative genome analysis of canine oral treponemes

Dogs develop periodontal diseases analogous to humans. Treponemes play key roles in periodontal diseases in humans and dogs. Dogs harbor oral treponeme communities that mirror human ones at the genus level, but which are composed of notably different species, subspecies and strains.

Ten species of human oral treponemes have been cultivated and characterized to data. Treponema denticola (T. denticola) is the most well-studied species due to its pathogenic mechanism. It expresses a wild range of virulence factors, like the major surface protein (Msp) and the protease dentilisin (PrtP). In T. denticola, Msp is an antigenic abundantly-expressed protein that forms a hetero-oligomeric outer-membrane-associated complex with dentilisin and the PrcA and PrcB accessory proteins.

Here we describe the genomic compositions of five ‘T. denticola-like’ strains originally isolated from canine subgingival plaque (cTd1-cTd5). We compare and contrast their putative virulence factors with those encoded by human T. denticola isolates.

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