In vivo detection of Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis by targeting pathogen-specific prothrombin activation

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Nature medicine (Impact Factor: 28.05). 08/2011; 17(9):1142-6. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2423
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the major causal pathogen of acute endocarditis, a rapidly progressing, destructive infection of the heart valves. Bacterial colonization occurs at sites of endothelial damage, where, together with fibrin and platelets, the bacteria initiate the formation of abnormal growths known as vegetations. Here we report that an engineered analog of prothrombin could be used to detect S. aureus in endocarditic vegetations via noninvasive fluorescence or positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. These prothrombin derivatives bound staphylocoagulase and intercalated into growing bacterial vegetations. We also present evidence for bacterial quorum sensing in the regulation of staphylocoagulase expression by S. aureus. Staphylocoagulase expression was limited to the growing edge of mature vegetations, where it was exposed to the host and co-localized with the imaging probe. When endocarditis was induced with an S. aureus strain with genetic deletion of coagulases, survival of mice improved, highlighting the role of staphylocoagulase as a virulence factor.

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    ABSTRACT: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a severe and often fatal disease, lacking a fast and reliable diagnostic procedure. The purpose of this study was to establish a mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus-induced IE and to develop a MRI technology to characterize and diagnose IE. To establish the mouse model of hematogenous IE, aortic valve damage was induced by placing a permanent catheter into right carotid artery. 24 h after surgery, mice were injected intravenously with either iron particle-labeled or unlabeled S. aureus (strain 6850). To distinguish the effect of IE from mere tissue injury or recruited macrophages, subgroups of mice received sham surgery prior to infection (n = 17), received surgery without infection (n = 8), or obtained additionally injection of free iron particles to label macrophages (n = 17). Cardiac MRI was performed 48 h after surgery using a self-gated ultra-short echo time (UTE) sequence (TR/TE, 5/0.31 ms; in-plane/slice, 0.125/1 mm; duration, 12∶08 min) to obtain high-resolution, artifact-free cinematographic images of the valves. After MRI, valves were either homogenized and plated on blood agar plates for determination of bacterial titers, or sectioned and stained for histology. In the animal model, both severity of the disease and mortality increased with bacterial numbers. Infection with 105 S. aureus bacteria reliably caused endocarditis with vegetations on the valves. Cinematographic UTE MRI visualised the aortic valve over the cardiac cycle and allowed for detection of bacterial vegetations, while mere tissue trauma or labeled macrophages were not detected. Iron labeling of S. aureus was not required for detection. MRI results were consistent with histology and microbial assessment. These data showed that S. aureus-induced IE in mice can be detected by MRI. The established mouse model allows for investigation of the pathophysiology of IE, testing of novel drugs and may serve for the development of a clinical diagnostic strategy.
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    ABSTRACT: Multimodality imaging has emerged as a common technological approach used in both preclinical and clinical research. Advanced techniques that combine in vivo optical and μCT imaging allow the visualization of biological phenomena in an anatomical context. These imaging modalities may be especially useful to study conditions that impact bone. In particular, orthopaedic implant infections are an important problem in clinical orthopaedic surgery. These infections are difficult to treat because bacterial biofilms form on the foreign surgically implanted materials, leading to persistent inflammation, osteomyelitis and eventual osteolysis of the bone surrounding the implant, which ultimately results in implant loosening and failure. Here, a mouse model of an infected orthopaedic prosthetic implant was used that involved the surgical placement of a Kirschner-wire implant into an intramedullary canal in the femur in such a way that the end of the implant extended into the knee joint. In this model, LysEGFP mice, a mouse strain that has EGFP-fluorescent neutrophils, were employed in conjunction with a bioluminescent Staphylococcus aureus strain, which naturally emits light. The bacteria were inoculated into the knee joints of the mice prior to closing the surgical site. In vivo bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging was used to quantify the bacterial burden and neutrophil inflammatory response, respectively. In addition, μCT imaging was performed on the same mice so that the 3D location of the bioluminescent and fluorescent optical signals could be co-registered with the anatomical μCT images. To quantify the changes in the bone over time, the outer bone volume of the distal femurs were measured at specific time points using a semi-automated contour based segmentation process. Taken together, the combination of in vivo bioluminescent/fluorescent imaging with μCT imaging may be especially useful for the noninvasive monitoring of the infection, inflammatory response and anatomical changes in bone over time.
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    ABSTRACT: The Enterobacteriaceae are a family of rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria that normally inhabit the gastrointestinal tract and are the most common cause of Gram-negative bacterial infections in humans. In addition to causing se- rious multidrug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections, a number of Enterobacteriaceae species are also recognized as biothreat pathogens. As a consequence, new tools are urgently needed to specifically identify and localize in- fections due to Enterobacteriaceae and to monitor antimicrobial efficacy. In this report, we used commercially avail- able 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) to produce 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxysorbitol (18F-FDS), a radioactive probe for Enterobacteriaceae, in 30 min. 18F-FDS selectively accumulated in Enterobacteriaceae, but not in Gram-positive bacteria or healthy mammalian or cancer cells in vitro. In a murine myositis model, 18F-FDS positron emission to- mography (PET) rapidly differentiated true infection from sterile inflammation with a limit of detection of 6.2 ± 0.2 log10 colony-forming units (CFU) for Escherichia coli. Our findings were extended to models of mixed Gram- positive and Gram-negative thigh co-infections, brain infection, Klebsiella pneumonia, and mice undergoing immu- nosuppressive chemotherapy. This technique rapidly and specifically localized infections due to Enterobacteriaceae, providing a three-dimensional holistic view within the animal. Last, 18F-FDS PET monitored the efficacy of antimi- crobial treatment, demonstrating a PET signal proportionate to the bacterial burden. Therapeutic failures associated with multidrug-resistant, extended-spectrum b-lactamase (ESBL)–producing E. coli infections were detected in real time. Together, these data show that 18F-FDS is a candidate imaging probe for translation to human clinical cases of known or suspected infections owing to Enterobacteriaceae.
    Science translational medicine 10/2014; 6(259):259ra146. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009815 · 14.41 Impact Factor

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