Bacterial/Viral transfer genetics

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10+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2009
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Sorry for yet another question, but I'm having trouble finding a consolidated source for this (it's def not in FA!)

Conjugation, transduction, transformation, transposition for bacteria,

Recombination, reassortment, complementation, phenotypic mixing for viruses

I know what all these mean, but do we have to know specifically which bacteria/viruses do which?

From doing all the UW questions, looks like Strep Pneumo uses transformation to acquire new stuff, Diphtheria uses phage-mediated transfer, segmented viruses use reassortment... but what about everything else?

Aside from the ones I mentioned, is it really fair game for the USMLE to say "Bacteria X normally isn't infective but then is placed with bacteria Y and becomes infective. What's the usual mechanism?"

Or do they have to explain out what the mechanism is and then ask me to name the mechanism?

Anywhere I can find this info? Am I missing something big here, like they all the potential to do all of them? lol. Thank you all.

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