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      Genetic determinants and biofilm formation of clinical Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates from blood cultures and indwelling devises

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          For a long time, Staphylococcus epidermidis, as a member of the coagulase-negative staphylococci, was considered as part of the physiological skin flora of the human being with no pathogenic significance. Today, we know that S. epidermidis is one of the most prevalent causes for implant-associated and nosocomial infections. We performed pheno- and genotypic analysis ( ica, IS 256, SCC mec types, agr groups) of biofilm formation in 200 isolates. Fifty percent were genetically ica-positive and produced biofilm. Among all studied isolates, agr II and III and SCC mec type I were the most prevalent, whereas within the selected multi-resistant isolates (29%), agr I and III and SCC mec type II dominated. SCC mec type I and mecA-negative S. epidermidis isolates were associated with agr II. The majority of the blood culture and biopsy isolates were assigned to agr III and SCC mec type I, whereas agr II was predominantly detected in mecA-negative S. epidermidis isolated from catheter and implant materials. MLST analysis revealed the major clonal lineages of ST2, ST5, ST10, and ST242 (total 13 STs). ST2 isolates from blood cultures were icaA/D-positive and harbored SCC mec types II and III and IS 256, whereas the icaA/D- and IS 256-positive ST23 isolates were assigned to SCC mec types I and IV.

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          Pathogenesis of infections due to coagulase-negative staphylococci.

          As a group, the coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are among the most frequently isolated bacteria in the clinical microbiology laboratory and are becoming increasingly important, especially as causes of hospital-acquired infections. These bacteria are normal inhabitants of human skin and mucous membranes and, therefore, one of the major challenges of daily diagnostic work is to distinguish clinically significant CoNS from contaminant strains. This overview addresses current knowledge of the pathogenesis of infections due to CoNS and particularly focuses on virulence factors of the species Staphylococcus epidermidis. S epidermidis has been identified as a major cause of nosocomial infections, especially in patients with predisposing factors such as indwelling or implanted foreign polymer bodies. Most important in the pathogenesis of foreign-body-associated infections is the ability of these bacteria to colonise the polymer surface by the formation of a thick, multilayered biofilm. Biofilm formation takes place in two phases. The first phase involves the attachment of the bacteria to polymer surfaces that may be either unmodified or coated with host extracellular matrix proteins. In the second phase, the bacteria proliferate and accumulate into multilayered cell clusters that are embedded in an extracellular material. The bacterial factors involved in both phases of biofilm formation are discussed in this review. In addition, the most important aspects of the pathogenic potential of S saprophyticus, S lugdunensis, and S schleiferi are described, although, compared with S epidermidis, much less is known in these species concerning their virulence factors.
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            A crucial role for exopolysaccharide modification in bacterial biofilm formation, immune evasion, and virulence.

            Biofilms play an important role in many chronic bacterial infections. Production of an extracellular mixture of sugar polymers called exopolysaccharide is characteristic and critical for biofilm formation. However, there is limited information about the mechanisms involved in the biosynthesis and modification of exopolysaccharide components and how these processes influence bacterial pathogenesis. Staphylococcus epidermidis is an important human pathogen that frequently causes persistent infections by biofilm formation on indwelling medical devices. It produces a poly-N-acetylglucosamine molecule that emerges as an exopolysaccharide component of many bacterial pathogens. Using a novel method based on size exclusion chromatography-mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that the surface-attached protein IcaB is responsible for deacetylation of the poly-N-acetylglucosamine molecule. Most likely due to the loss of its cationic character, non-deacetylated poly-acetylglucosamine in an isogenic icaB mutant strain was devoid of the ability to attach to the bacterial cell surface. Importantly, deacetylation of the polymer was essential for key virulence mechanisms of S. epidermidis, namely biofilm formation, colonization, and resistance to neutrophil phagocytosis and human antibacterial peptides. Furthermore, persistence of the icaB mutant strain was significantly impaired in a murine model of device-related infection. This is the first study to describe a mechanism of exopolysaccharide modification that is indispensable for the development of biofilm-associated human disease. Notably, this general virulence mechanism is likely similar for other pathogenic bacteria and constitutes an excellent target for therapeutic maneuvers aimed at combating biofilm-associated infection.
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              Presence of icaA and icaD genes and slime production in a collection of staphylococcal strains from catheter-associated infections.

              Both Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are important causes of infections associated with catheters and other medical devices. It has recently been shown that not only S. epidermidis but also S. aureus can produce slime and carries the ica operon responsible for slime production. In the operon, coexpression of icaA and icaD is required for full slime synthesis. In this study, the presence of icaA and icaD was determined in a collection of 91 staphylococcal (68 S. epidermidis and 23 S. aureus) strains from intravenous catheter-associated infections, in 10 strains from the skin and mucosa of healthy volunteers, and in two reference strains by a PCR method. Slime-forming ability was tested on Congo red agar plates; 49% of S. epidermidis strains from catheters and, surprisingly, 61% of S. aureus strains were icaA and icaD positive and slime forming. All the saprophytic strains turned out to be negative for both icaA and icaD and also non-slime forming. Two S. aureus and one S. epidermidis strain from catheters, detected as icaA and icaD positive by PCR analysis and as slime forming (black colonies) at 24 h on Congo red agar, at 48 h exhibited tiny red spikes at the center of black colonies. The onset of these variants could not be ascribed to a mutagenic potential of Congo red, which, in the Ames test, was devoid of mutagenicity. PCR analysis showed that these red variants were negative for both icaA and icaD and even lacking the entire icaADBC operon. The data reported indicate an important role of ica genes as a virulence marker in staphylococcal infections from intravenous catheters.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                1 June 2013
                : 3
                : 2
                : 111-119
                [ 1 ] Medical Microbiology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Clinic, Magdeburg, Germany
                [ 2 ] Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany
                [ 3 ] Medical Microbiology Helios Wuppertal, Faculty of Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany
                Author notes
                Original Articles

                Medicine,Immunology,Health & Social care,Microbiology & Virology,Infectious disease & Microbiology
                ica ,antibiotic resistance,IS256 , S. epidermidis ,SCCmec ,biofilm, agr


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