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J Proteome Res. 2007 Dec;6(12):4690-702. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Comparative proteomics analyses reveal a potential biomarker for the detection of vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus strains.

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Centre de recherche en Infectiologie and Division de Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, CHUQ, Pavillon CHUL, 2705 boulevard Laurier, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.


Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) strains tend to develop during glycopeptide treatment of infections caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Rapid and effective detection methods for VISA strains are lacking, and mechanisms of resistance are unclear. Here, global comparative proteomic approaches have been used to identify potential biomarkers of intermediate vancomycin resistance. With the use of high-resolution two-dimensional gels and iTRAQ mass tagging, numerous proteins were found to be differentially expressed between clinical MRSA and VISA isolates of the same multilocus sequence type. One of these, the predicted lytic transglycosylase SAV2095 (SceD-like protein), was selected for further study based on both its high level of induction in Mu50 and its predicted role in modeling the cell wall, which is the target of vancomycin. Relative SAV2095 mRNA expression levels were compared between 25 MRSA and VISA/heterogeneous VISA clinical isolates by real-time RT-PCR. The SAV2095 mRNA was significantly induced in all VISA isolates relative to all MRSA strains ( p < 0.001), and significant induction of SAV2095 was also seen for several potential heterogeneous VISA strains that appear vancomycin-sensitive by standard minimum inhibitory concentration-determining methods. Furthermore, strains selected in vitro for increasing levels of resistance from four unrelated clinical MRSA isolates displayed concomitant increases in levels of SAV2095 expression. Together, these results suggest that SAV2095 expression level could serve as a molecular diagnostic marker for the rapid detection of VISA.

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