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      Staphylococcus aureus Fibronectin-Binding Proteins Contribute to Colonization of the Female Reproductive Tract

      1 , 1 , 1 , 2
      Infection and Immunity
      American Society for Microbiology

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          Abstract

          Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an opportunistic pathogen and frequent colonizer of human skin and mucosal membranes, including the vagina, with vaginal colonization reaching nearly 25% in some pregnant populations. MRSA vaginal colonization can lead to aerobic vaginitis (AV), and during pregnancy, bacterial ascension into the upper reproductive tract can lead to adverse birth outcomes.

          ABSTRACT

          Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an opportunistic pathogen and frequent colonizer of human skin and mucosal membranes, including the vagina, with vaginal colonization reaching nearly 25% in some pregnant populations. MRSA vaginal colonization can lead to aerobic vaginitis (AV), and during pregnancy, bacterial ascension into the upper reproductive tract can lead to adverse birth outcomes. USA300, the most prominent MRSA lineage to colonize pregnant individuals, is a robust biofilm former and causative agent of invasive infections; however, little is known about how it colonizes and ascends in the female reproductive tract (FRT). Our previous studies showed that a MRSA mutant of seven fibrinogen-binding adhesins was deficient in FRT epithelial attachment and colonization. Using both monolayer and multilayer air-liquid interface cell culture models, we determine that one class of these adhesins, the fibronectin binding proteins (FnBPA and FnBPB), are critical for association with human vaginal epithelial cells (hVECs) and hVEC invasion through interactions with α 5 β 1 integrin. We observe that both FnBPs are important for biofilm formation as single and double fnbAB mutants exhibit reduced biofilm formation on hVECs. Using heterologous expression of fnbA and fnbB in Staphylococcus carnosus , FnBPs are also found to be sufficient for hVEC cellular association, invasion, and biofilm formation. In addition, we found that an Δ fnbAB mutant displays attenuated ascension in our murine vaginal colonization model. Better understanding of MRSA FRT colonization and ascension can ultimately inform treatment strategies to limit MRSA vaginal burden or prevent ascension, especially during pregnancy and in those prone to AV.

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          Waves of resistance: Staphylococcus aureus in the antibiotic era.

          Staphylococcus aureus is notorious for its ability to become resistant to antibiotics. Infections that are caused by antibiotic-resistant strains often occur in epidemic waves that are initiated by one or a few successful clones. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) features prominently in these epidemics. Historically associated with hospitals and other health care settings, MRSA has now emerged as a widespread cause of community infections. Community or community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) can spread rapidly among healthy individuals. Outbreaks of CA-MRSA infections have been reported worldwide, and CA-MRSA strains are now epidemic in the United States. Here, we review the molecular epidemiology of the epidemic waves of penicillin- and methicillin-resistant strains of S. aureus that have occurred since 1940, with a focus on the clinical and molecular epidemiology of CA-MRSA.
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            Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: epidemiology and clinical consequences of an emerging epidemic.

            Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs), endovascular infections, pneumonia, septic arthritis, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, foreign-body infections, and sepsis. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were once confined largely to hospitals, other health care environments, and patients frequenting these facilities. Since the mid-1990s, however, there has been an explosion in the number of MRSA infections reported in populations lacking risk factors for exposure to the health care system. This increase in the incidence of MRSA infection has been associated with the recognition of new MRSA clones known as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). CA-MRSA strains differ from the older, health care-associated MRSA strains; they infect a different group of patients, they cause different clinical syndromes, they differ in antimicrobial susceptibility patterns, they spread rapidly among healthy people in the community, and they frequently cause infections in health care environments as well. This review details what is known about the epidemiology of CA-MRSA strains and the clinical spectrum of infectious syndromes associated with them that ranges from a commensal state to severe, overwhelming infection. It also addresses the therapy of these infections and strategies for their prevention.
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              A Genetic Resource for Rapid and Comprehensive Phenotype Screening of Nonessential Staphylococcus aureus Genes

              ABSTRACT To enhance the research capabilities of investigators interested in Staphylococcus aureus, the Nebraska Center for Staphylococcal Research (CSR) has generated a sequence-defined transposon mutant library consisting of 1,952 strains, each containing a single mutation within a nonessential gene of the epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) isolate USA300. To demonstrate the utility of this library for large-scale screening of phenotypic alterations, we spotted the library on indicator plates to assess hemolytic potential, protease production, pigmentation, and mannitol utilization. As expected, we identified many genes known to function in these processes, thus validating the utility of this approach. Importantly, we also identified genes not previously associated with these phenotypes. In total, 71 mutants displayed differential hemolysis activities, the majority of which were not previously known to influence hemolysin production. Furthermore, 62 mutants were defective in protease activity, with only 14 previously demonstrated to be involved in the production of extracellular proteases. In addition, 38 mutations affected pigment formation, while only 7 influenced mannitol fermentation, underscoring the sensitivity of this approach to identify rare phenotypes. Finally, 579 open reading frames were not interrupted by a transposon, thus providing potentially new essential gene targets for subsequent antibacterial discovery. Overall, the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library represents a valuable new resource for the research community that should greatly enhance investigations of this important human pathogen.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                Infection and Immunity
                Infect Immun
                American Society for Microbiology
                0019-9567
                1098-5522
                January 24 2023
                January 24 2023
                : 91
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA
                [2 ]Department of Veterans Affairs, Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Aurora, Colorado, USA
                Article
                10.1128/iai.00460-22
                9872658
                36511703
                09a7cb37-a5c1-4053-ae0c-2652a2bf2885
                © 2023

                https://doi.org/10.1128/ASMCopyrightv2

                https://journals.asm.org/non-commercial-tdm-license

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