4 years ago

The electron transport chain sensitises Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis to the oxidative burst.

Ha, Edwards, Hall, Painter
Small colony variants (SCVs) of Staphylococcus aureus typically lack a functional electron transport chain and cannot produce virulence factors such as leukocidins, hemolysins or the anti-oxidant staphyloxanthin. Despite this, SCVs are associated with persistent infections of the bloodstream, bones and prosthetic devices. The survival of SCVs in the host has been ascribed to intracellular residency, biofilm formation and resistance to antibiotics. However, the ability of SCVs to resist host defences is largely uncharacterised. To address this, we measured survival of wild-type and SCV S. aureus in whole human blood, which contains high numbers of neutrophils, the key defense against staphylococcal infection. Despite the loss of leukcocidin production and staphyloxanthin biosynthesis, SCVs defective for heme or menquinone biosynthesis were significantly more resistant to the oxidative burst than wild-type bacteria in human blood or the presence of purified neutrophils. Supplementation of the culture medium of the heme-auxotrophic SCV with heme, but not iron, restored growth, hemolysin and staphyloxanthin production, and sensitivity to the oxidative burst. Since Enterococcus faecalis is a natural heme auxotroph and cause of bloodstream infection, we explored whether restoration of the electron transport chain in this organism also affected survival in blood. Incubation of E. faecalis with heme increased growth and restored catalase activity, but resulted in decreased survival in human blood via increased sensitivity to the oxidative burst. Therefore, the lack of functional electron transport chains in SCV S. aureus and wild-type E. faecalis results in reduced growth rate but provides resistance to a key immune defence mechanism.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00659-17

DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00659-17

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.