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Nat Microbiol. 2017 Jan 23;2:16257. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.257.

Wall teichoic acids mediate increased virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Interfacultary Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT), University of Tübingen, Elfriede-Aulhorn Straße 6, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
2
Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
3
Medical Microbiology, UMC Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Immunology, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße DZ7, 17475 Greifswald, Germany.
5
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) are the cause of a severe pandemic consisting primarily of skin and soft tissue infections. The underlying pathomechanisms have not been fully understood and we report here a mechanism that plays an important role for the elevated virulence of CA-MRSA. Surprisingly, skin abscess induction in an animal model was correlated with the amount of a major cell wall component of S. aureus, termed wall teichoic acid (WTA). CA-MRSA exhibited increased cell-wall-associated WTA content (WTAhigh) and thus were more active in inducing abscess formation via a WTA-dependent and T-cell-mediated mechanism than S. aureus strains with a WTAlow phenotype. We show here that WTA is directly involved in S. aureus strain-specific virulence and provide insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms that could guide the development of novel anti-infective strategies.

PMID:
28112716
DOI:
10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.257
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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