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First pathogen with a human gene: N. gonorrhoeae plays the field, accepts DNA from bacteria AND humans

Of the many things that have been said about gonorrhea, here’s one thing no one ever guessed: gonorrhea is a little bit human. A study published in mBio today reveals that the genomes of some strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae carry a piece of the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) L1.

This is the first time a piece of human DNA has been found in a bacterium. “We’ve never seen an inter-kingdom jump between a human genome and a bacterial genome,” says co-author H. Steven Seifert. Seifert is a Professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s a proof of principle that you can get that wide a leap.”

Click the "Source" link above to read the whole post on our blog, mBIosphere.

Comments (2)

  1. This is definitely not the first time that human genes are found in bacteria or vice versa: Trost et al have published two papers on this showing that ALL human proteins contain bacterial consensi,often of contiguous nonapeptides, and therefore genes (and therefore that bacteria contain human genes) Bacterial peptides are intensively present throughout the human proteome Self/Nonself Trost et al, 2010at and No human protein is exempt from bacterial motifs. Not even one Self Nonself Trost et al, 2010b
  2. To Chris, Your examples are all about bacterial DNA in humans, not sure the reciprocity was shown before.

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