[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is a major risk factor for invasive S. aureus disease. The aim of this study was to define factors associated with carriage. We conducted a prospective, longitudinal community-based study of infants and their mothers for a period of 6 months following delivery. The epidemiology of carriage was examined for 100 infant-mother pairs. Infant carriage varied significantly with age, falling from 40 to 50% during the first 8 weeks to 21% by 6 months. Determinants of infant S. aureus carriage included maternal carriage, breastfeeding, and number of siblings. Bacterial typing of S. aureus was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. The majority of individuals carried a single strain of S. aureus over time, and the mother was the usual source for colonizing isolates in infants. The effect of other components of the normal nasal flora on the development of S. aureus carriage was examined in 157 consecutive infants. Negative associations (putative bacterial interference) between S. aureus and other species occurred early in infancy but were not sustained. An increasing antistaphylococcal effect observed over time was not attributable to bacterial interference. S. aureus carriage in infants is likely to be determined by a combination of host, environmental, and bacterial factors, but bacterial interference does not appear to be an ultimate determinant of carrier status.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most cases of severe Staphylococcus aureus disease cannot be explained by the action of a single virulence determinant, and it is likely that a number of factors act in combination during the infective process. This study examined the relationship between disease in humans and a large number of putative virulence determinants, both individually and in combination. S. aureus isolates (n = 334) from healthy blood donors and from patients with invasive disease were compared for variation in the presence of 33 putative virulence determinants. After adjusting for the effect of clonality, seven determinants (fnbA, cna, sdrE, sej, eta, hlg, and ica) were significantly more common in invasive isolates. All seven factors contributed independently to virulence. No single factor predominated as the major predictor of virulence, their effects appearing to be cumulative. No combinations of the seven genes were either more or less likely to cause disease than others with the same number of virulence-associated genes. There was evidence of considerable horizontal transfer of genes on a background of clonality. Our findings also suggested that allelic variants of a polymorphic locus can make different contributions to the disease process, further study of which is likely to expand our understanding of staphylococcal disease pathogenesis.
Infection and Immunity 10/2002; 70(9):4987-96. DOI:10.1128/IAI.70.9.4987-4996.2002 · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection frequently involves bacterial seeding from the bloodstream to other body tissues, a process necessarily involving interactions between circulating bacteria and vascular endothelial cells. Staphylococcus aureus fibronectin-binding protein is central to the invasion of endothelium, fibronectin forming a bridge between bacterial fibronectin-binding proteins and host cell receptors. To dissect further the mechanisms of invasion of endothelial cells by S. aureus, a series of truncated FnBPA proteins that lacked one or more of the A, B, C or D regions were expressed on the surface of S. aureus and tested in fibronectin adhesion, endothelial cell adhesion and invasion assays. We found that this protein has multiple, substituting, fibronectin-binding regions, each capable of conferring both adherence to fibronectin and endothelial cells, and endothelial cell invasion. By expressing S. aureus FnBPA on the surface of the non-invasive Gram-positive organism Lactococcus lactis, we have found that no other bacterial factor is required for invasion. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that, as with other cell types, invasion of endothelial cells is mediated by integrin alpha5beta1. These findings may be of relevance to the development of preventive measures against systemic infection, and bacterial spread in the bacteraemic patient.