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Open Access Editorial

Replicative genomics can help Helicobacter fraternity usher in good times

Niyaz Ahmed

Author Affiliations

Pathogen Biology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India

Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Gut Pathogens 2010, 2:25  doi:10.1186/1757-4749-2-25

Published: 23 December 2010

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

If we draw a parallel among two of the age-old scourges of humans, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Helicobacter pylori, we will find a great superimposition of the two in terms of their history, ecology, geographic distribution and the fact that both the pathogens get fiercely engaged with host innate defenses and avoid clearance due to being highly adapted to their niches [1]. However, the pattern of their chromosomal evolution is very different [2]. Whole genome sequencing revealed that M. tuberculosis pangenome is of a closed type because of its largely being conserved [3] and that of H. pylori is an infinitely open one [4], meaning that dozens of new, undefined genes and genetic elements will be identified with the addition of each new genome to the existing pan-genome of the latter. This is good news for sequencing companies who were not happy with loosing the business opportunities with Mycobacterium research community but they can in a big way embark upon the Helicobacter sequencing assignments aimed at population genomics and towards finding new virulence factors and novel markers for strain identification [5].