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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Dec 15;45(12):1550-8. doi: 10.1086/523581.

In vitro production of panton-valentine leukocidin among strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causing diverse infections.

Author information

1
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boise, Idaho 83702, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains have recently been associated with severe necrotizing infections. Greater than 75% of these strains carry the genes for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), suggesting that this toxin may mediate these severe infections. However, to date, studies have not provided evidence of toxin production.

METHODS:

Twenty-nine community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 2 community-acquired methicillin-susceptible S. aureus strains were collected from patients with infections of varying severity. Strains were analyzed for the presence of lukF-PV and SCCmecA type. PVL production in lukF-PV gene-positive strains was measured by ELISA, and the amount produced was analyzed relative to severity of infection.

RESULTS:

Only 2 of the 31 strains tested, 1 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus abscess isolate and 1 nasal carriage methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolate, were lukF-PV negative. All methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains were SCCmec type IV. PVL was produced by all strains harboring lukF-PV, although a marked strain-to-strain variation was observed. Twenty-six (90%) of 29 strains produced 50-350 ng/mL of PVL; the remaining strains produced PVL in excess of 500 ng/mL. The quantity of PVL produced in vitro did not correlate with severity of infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although PVL likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of these infections, its mere presence is not solely responsible for the increased severity. Factors that up-regulate toxin synthesis in vivo could contribute to more-severe disease and worse outcomes in patients with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.

PMID:
18190315
DOI:
10.1086/523581
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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