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Microbes Infect. 2008 Mar;10(3):217-23. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2007.11.006. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

The alternative sigma factor sigma B of Staphylococcus aureus modulates virulence in experimental central venous catheter-related infections.

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University of Würzburg, Centre for Operative Medicine, Department of Surgery I, Oberdürrbacher Str. 6, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


The impact of the alternative sigma factor sigma B (SigB) on pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus is not conclusively clarified. In this study, a central venous catheter (CVC) related model of multiorgan infection was used to investigate the role of SigB for the pathogenesis of S. aureus infections and biofilm formation in vivo. Analysis of two SigB-positive wild-type strains and their isogenic mutants revealed uniformly that the wild-type was significantly more virulent than the SigB-deficient mutant. The observed difference in virulence was apparently not linked to the capability of the strains to form biofilms in vivo since wild-type and mutant strains were able to produce biofilm layers inside of the catheter. The data strongly indicate that the alternative sigma factor SigB plays a role in CVC-associated infections caused by S. aureus.

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