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J Infect Dis. 2012 Oct 1;206(7):1041-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis463. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Staphylococcus aureus FhuD2 is involved in the early phase of staphylococcal dissemination and generates protective immunity in mice.

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Novartis Vaccines, Research Center, Siena, Italy.


Iron availability plays an essential role in staphylococcal pathogenesis. We selected FhuD2, a lipoprotein involved in iron-hydroxamate uptake, as a novel vaccine candidate against Staphylococcus aureus. Unprecedented for staphylococcal lipoproteins, the protein was demonstrated to have a discrete, punctate localization on the bacterial surface. FhuD2 vaccination generated protective immunity against diverse clinical S. aureus isolates in murine infection models. Protection appeared to be associated with functional antibodies that were shown to mediate opsonophagocytosis, to be effective in passive transfer experiments, and to potentially block FhuD2-mediated siderophore uptake. Furthermore, the protein was found to be up-regulated in infected tissues and was required for staphylococcal dissemination and abscess formation. Herein we show that the staphylococcal iron-hydroxamate uptake system is important in invasive infection and functions as an efficacious vaccine target.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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