Shigella flexneri 2a

Shigella species are commonly pathogenic to humans, causing severe gastroenteritis (bacillary dysentery). In healthy adults, dysentery is a self-limiting disease, but it can be fatal to infants and young children, causing over 1 million deaths a year. We have completed the genome sequence of Shigella flexneri serotype 2a strain 2457T, which has been the subject of extensive molecular pathogenesis and genetics research. The 2457T genome was compared with other Enterobacterial pathogens, including another recently sequenced S. flexneri 2a strain, 301.

Whole-genome shotgun libraries of strain 2457T were constructed in M13Janus (insert size ~2.0 kbp) and pBlueScript KS- (insert size ~5 kbp). Clones were sequenced using dye terminator chemistry, collecting 66,219 reads on ABI377 and 3700 instruments (final coverage 7.2X). A whole-genome optical map of XhoI sites was prepared to aid the ordering of contigs during assembly and to confirm the endpoints and lengths of inversions in the strain comparsions. The completed genome (4,599,354 bp) has been annotated and deposited in the public databases (accession number AE014073).

Strain 2457T harbors four plasmids, which remain to be completed. We have sequenced the large virulence plasmid pWR501 from Shigella flexneri serotype 5a, and it is available from Genbank with accession number AF348706.


  • J. Wei, M. B. Goldberg, V. Burland, M. M. Venkatesan, W. Deng, G. Fournier, G. F. Mayhew, G. Plunkett III, D. J. Rose, A. Darling, B. Mau, N. T. Perna, S. M. Payne, L. J. Runyen-Janecky, S. Zhou, D. C. Schwartz, and F. R. Blattner (2003) Complete genome sequence and comparative genomics of Shigella flexneri serotype 2a strain 2457T. Infect Immun 71(5): 2775-2786. [PubMed] [full text] [abstract]
  • M. M. Venkatesan, M. B. Goldberg, D. J. Rose, E. J. Grotbeck, V. Burland and F. R. Blattner (2001) Complete DNA sequence and analysis of the large virulence plasmid of Shigella flexneri. Infect Immun 69(5): 3271-3285. [PubMed] [full text] [abstract]

Strain availability

Shigella flexneri strain 2457T has been deposited with the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and is available as ATCC 700930, both as a culture and as purified DNA from this strain.

Sequence availability

We have placed the annotated genome sequence on our web server (see below); note that the four plasmids present in strain 2457T have not been published, and are not represented in GenBank at this time. The chromosomal sequence has been processed by NCBI and entered into GenBank as 16 "pieces" (accession numbers AE016978 - AE016993), accessible via Entrez and BLAST. The complete genome as a single entry is also available via the NCBI ftp site.


This project is part of our Bacterial Pathogens Genome Initiative, funded by NIAID.

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