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Eur Cell Mater. 2002 Dec 31;4:39-60.

An introduction to Staphylococcus aureus, and techniques for identifying and quantifying S. aureus adhesins in relation to adhesion to biomaterials: review.

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AO Research Institute, Clavadelerstrasse, CH 7270 Davos, Switzerland.


The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to adhere to the extracellular matrix and plasma proteins deposited on biomaterials is a significant factor in the pathogenesis of orthopaedic-device related infections. S. aureus possesses many adhesion proteins on its surface, but it is not known how they interact with each other to form stable interactions with the substrate. A novel method was developed for extracting adhesins from the S. aureus cell wall, which could then be further analysed. The protocol involves using a FastPrep instrument to mechanically disrupt the cell walls resulting in native cell walls. Ionically and covalently bound proteins were then solubilised using sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) and lysostaphin, respectively. Western blot analysis of covalently bound proteins using anti-protein A and anti-clumping factor A sera showed that S. aureus produces most surface proteins in early growth, and less in post-exponential and stationary growth. Immuno-gold labelling of protein A, and clumping factor A was observed all over the bacteria and showed no distinct surface distribution pattern. However, this labelling showed expression of surface associated proteins varied in a growth-phase dependent and cell-density dependent manner.

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