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Cell Microbiol. 2011 Oct;13(10):1530-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01639.x. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

In vitro endothelial cell damage is positively correlated with enhanced virulence and poor vancomycin responsiveness in experimental endocarditis due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Author information

1
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA. katiseidl@gmail.com

Abstract

The pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE) is postulated to involve invasion and damage of endothelial cells (ECs). However, the precise relationships between S. aureus-EC interactions in vitro and IE virulence and treatment outcomes in vivo are poorly defined. Ten methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates previously tested for their virulence and vancomycin responsiveness in an experimental IE model were assessed in vitro for their haemolytic activity, protease production, and capacity to invade and damage ECs. There was a significant positive correlation between the in vitro EC damage caused by these MRSA strains and their virulence during experimental IE (in terms of bacterial densities in target tissues; P < 0.02). Importantly, higher EC damage was also significantly correlated with poor microbiological response to vancomycin in the IE model (P < 0.001). Interestingly, the extent of EC damage was unrelated to a strain's ability to invade ECs, haemolytic activity and protease production, or β-toxin gene transcription. Inactivation of the agr locus in two MRSA strains caused ∼20% less damage as compared with the corresponding parental strains, indicating that a functional agr is required for maximal EC damage induction. Thus, MRSA-induced EC damage in vitro is a unique virulence phenotype that is independent of many other prototypical MRSA virulence factors, and may be a key biomarker for predicting MRSA virulence potential and antibiotic outcomes during endovascular infections.

PMID:
21777408
PMCID:
PMC3173605
DOI:
10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01639.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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