Horizontal Gene Transfer Among Neisseria Species and Humans

S. Sánchez*, T. de Miguel, T. G. Villa, A. R. Gorringe, I. M. Feavers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The genus Neisseria is included among those organisms containing a large number of foreign or exogenous genes in its genome. In most cases, the incorporation of these foreign genes is the consequence of recent events of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) occurring between different species of Neisseria but also with other bacterial genera such as Haemophilus influenzae and even with its exclusive host, the human. In this chapter, we review the transformation process as the main mechanism of HGT in Neisseria and its role in the acquisition of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance markers, mainly from commensal to pathogen Neisseria spp. In addition, we review evidence of gene exchange between both pathogenic Neisseria spp. and human, showing that HGT can occur between mammal’s host and their associated bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorizontal Gene Transfer
Subtitle of host publicationBreaking Borders between Living Kingdoms
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030218621
ISBN (Print)9783030218614
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Horizontal gene transfer
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Neisseria spp.
  • Transformation


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