Enterococcus faecalis Inhibits Superantigen Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin-1-Induced Interleukin-8 from Human Vaginal Epithelial Cells through Tetramic Acids

Columbia University, United States of America
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 04/2013; 8(4):e61255. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061255
Source: PubMed


The vaginal mucosa can be colonized by many bacteria including commensal organisms and potential pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Some strains of S. aureus produce the superantigen toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, which can penetrate the vaginal epithelium to cause toxic shock syndrome. We have observed that a female was mono-colonized with Enterococcus faecalis vaginally as tested in aerobic culture, even upon repeated culture for six months, suggesting this organism was negatively influencing colonization by other bacteria. In recent studies, we demonstrated an "outside-in" mechanism of cytokine signaling and consequent inflammation that facilitates the ability of potential pathogens to initiate infection from mucosal surfaces. Thus, we hypothesized that this strain of E. faecalis may make anti-inflammatory factors which block disease progression of more pathogenic organisms. E. faecalis MN1 inhibited interleukin-8 production from human vaginal epithelial cells in response to the vaginal pathogens Candida albicans, Gardnerella vaginalis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, as well as to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1. We further demonstrated that this organism secretes two tetramic acid compounds which appear responsible for inhibition of interleukin-8 production, as well as inhibition of T cell proliferation due to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1. Microbicides that include anti-inflammatory molecules, such as these tetramic acid compounds naturally produced by E. faecalis MN1, may be useful in prevention of diseases that develop from vaginal infections.

Download full-text


Available from: Joseph A Merriman,