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Virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from diabetic foot ulcers: a new paradigm.


ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to assess the virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from diabetic foot ulcers and to discriminate noninfected from infected ulcers. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:Diabetic patients hospitalized in a diabetic foot department with a foot ulcer were prospectively enrolled if they had been free of antibiotic treatment over the previous 6 months. At admission, ulcers were classified as infected or noninfected on the basis of clinical examination, according to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot system. Only patients carrying S. aureus as the sole pathogen were included. In individuals with a grade 1 ulcer, a second bacterial specimen was obtained 1 month later. Using virulence genotyping markers, clonality tools, and an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model, we correlated the virulence of 132 S. aureus strains with grade, time of collection, and ulcer outcome. RESULTS:Among virulence genes, the most relevant combination derived from the logistic regression was the association of cap8, sea, sei, lukE, and hlgv (area under the curve 0.958). These markers were useful to distinguish noninfected (grade 1) from infected (grades 2-4) ulcers and to predict wound status at the follow-up. With use of the nematode model, S. aureus strains isolated from grade 1 ulcers were found to be significantly less virulent than strains from ulcers at or above grade 2 (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights the coexistence of two S. aureus populations on diabetic foot ulcers. A combination of five genes that may help distinguish colonized grade 1 from infected grade >or=2 wounds, predict ulcer outcome, and contribute to more appropriate use of antibiotics was discovered.

SUBMITTER: Sotto A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2584189 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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