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J Proteome Res. 2014 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Genomics and Proteomics Provide New Insight into the Commensal and Pathogenic Lifestyles of Bovine- and Human-Associated Staphylococcus epidermidis Strains.

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Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, ‡Institute of Biotechnology, Proteomics Unit, §Department of Veterinary Biosciences, ∥Institute of Biotechnology, DNA Sequencing and Genomics Laboratory, ⊥Department of Production Animal Medicine, and ∇Institute of Biotechnology, Bioinformatics Group, University of Helsinki , FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


The present study reports comparative genomics and proteomics of Staphylococcus epidermidis (SE) strains isolated from bovine intramammary infection (PM221) and human hosts (ATCC12228 and RP62A). Genome-level profiling and protein expression analyses revealed that the bovine strain and the mildly infectious ATCC12228 strain are highly similar. Their genomes share high sequence identity and synteny, and both were predicted to encode the commensal-associated fdr marker gene. In contrast, PM221 was judged to differ from the sepsis-associated virulent human RP62A strain on the basis of distinct protein expression patterns and overall lack of genome synteny. The 2D DIGE and phenotypic analyses suggest that PM221 and ATCC12228 coordinate the TCA cycle activity and the formation of small colony variants in a way that could result in increased viability. Pilot experimental infection studies indicated that although ATCC12228 was able to infect a bovine host, the PM221 strain caused more severe clinical signs. Further investigation revealed strain- and condition-specific differences among surface bound proteins with likely roles in adhesion, biofilm formation, and immunomodulatory functions. Thus, our findings revealed a close link between the bovine and commensal-type human strains and suggest that humans could act as a reservoir of bovine mastitis-causing SE strains.

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