Staphylococcus aureus ST398 Virulence Is Associated With Factors Carried on Prophage ?Sa3.
ABSTRACT: An increasing number of severe infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus ST398 strains has been observed. However, it has not been elucidated whether all ST398 strains are equally virulent. We collected 13 strains from China and Canada to test in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model and compared their whole genome sequences (WGS) to explore potential insights into their virulence. All isolates belonged to ST398-methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) with variant spa types (t034, t571, t1451, t1250). Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and WGS analyses showed that the 13 isolates clustered into 3 genomic types (Types A-C). WGS and prophage phylogenetic analyses also revealed that the strains could be divided into 3 phage groups (Groups 1-3), which correlated with high-, moderate-, and low-nematocidal activities, with mean killing rates of 94, 67, and 40%, respectively. Group 1 carried ?Sa3-Group 1 (?Sa3-G1), Group 2 carried ?Sa3-G2, and Group 3 lacked ?Sa3. Interestingly, strain GD1706 (that genetically clustered within Type C) and strain GD487 (within Type B) both carried ?Sa3-G1 like phages and killed 92% of the nematodes, similar to the Type A strains carrying ?Sa3-G1. This study demonstrated that different ST398 sub-lineages possess variable virulence capacities, depending on the presence or absence, as well as the structure of the prophage ?Sa3 that carries virulence factors. IMPORTANCE:Since first being reported in the early 2000s, Staphylococcus aureus ST398 has not only become recognized as a frequent colonizing strain in economically important livestock animals, but has also proven to be a concern for infection in humans and, in particular, has been linked to higher rates of severe invasive human infections. We collected ST398 strains from China and Canada to test in a worm (Caenorhabditis elegans) infection model and compared their whole genome sequences to gain insight into pathogenesis. We have shown that different ST398 sub-strains differ in their virulence potential based on the presence or absence and structure of prophage ?Sa3, which carries important virulence factors. Our observations suggest that ST398 strains are relatively heterogeneous from a clinical perspective, and more studies are needed to differentiate between virulent and non-virulent ST398 strains to determine the true global spread of relevant sub-strains.
Project description:Human strains of Staphylococcus aureus commonly carry the bacteriophage ?Sa3 that encodes immune evasion factors. Recently, this prophage has been found in livestock-associated, methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) CC398 strains where it may promote human colonization. Here, we have addressed if exposure to biocidal products induces phage transfer, and find that during co-culture, ?13 from strain 8325, belonging to ?Sa3 group, is induced and transferred from a human strain to LA-MRSA CC398 when exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of commercial biocides containing hydrogen peroxide. Integration of ?Sa3 in LA-MRSA CC398 occurs at multiple positions and the integration site influences the stability of the prophage. We did not observe integration in hlb encoding ?-hemolysin that contains the preferred ?Sa3 attachment site in human strains, and we demonstrate that this is due to allelic variation in CC398 strains that disrupts the phage attachment site, but not the expression of ?-hemolysin. Our results show that hydrogen peroxide present in biocidal products stimulate transfer of ?Sa3 from human to LA-MRSA CC398 strains and that in these strains prophage stability depends on the integration site. Knowledge of ?Sa3 transfer and stability between human and livestock strains may lead to new intervention measures directed at reducing human infection by LA-MRSA strains.
Project description:The emerging livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus multilocus sequence type 398 (ST398) appears to have augmented virulence in humans. However, it is unclear if all ST398 strains are equally virulent. Here, we present the chromosomal sequence of a low-virulence ST398 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strain, GD1696, to investigate ST398 sublineage virulence.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus multilocus sequence type 398 (ST398) is responsible for an increasing number of severe infections in humans. There are no reports detailing if all ST398 strains are equally virulent. We present the genome sequence of the moderate-virulence ST398 methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strain GD1108, determined in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model, to reveal the ST398 sublineage virulence.
Project description:Multilocus sequence type 398 (ST398) methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) has been shown to have augmented pathogenicity in humans. However, it has not been determined whether all ST398 strains are equally virulent. We present here the genome sequence of a high-virulence ST398 MSSA strain, GD487, to explore potential insights into ST398 virulence.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus causes life-threatening infections, including infective endocarditis, sepsis, and pneumonia. ?-toxin is a sphingomyelinase encoded for by virtually all S. aureus strains and exhibits human immune cell cytotoxicity. The toxin enhances S. aureus phenol-soluble modulin activity, and its activity is enhanced by superantigens. The bacteriophage ?Sa3 inserts into the ?-toxin gene in human strains, inactivating it in the majority of S. aureus clonal groups. Hence, most strains are reported not to secrete ?-toxin.This dynamic was investigated by examining ?-toxin production by multiple clonal groups of S. aureus, both in vitro and in vivo during infections in rabbit models of infective endocarditis, sepsis, and pneumonia.?-toxin phenotypic variants are common among strains containing ?Sa3. In vivo, ?Sa3 is differentially induced in heart vegetations, kidney abscesses, and ischemic liver compared to spleen and blood, and in vitro growth in liquid culture. Furthermore, in pneumonia, wild-type ?-toxin production leads to development of large caseous lesions, and in infective endocarditis, increases the size of pathognomonic vegetations.This study demonstrates the dynamic interaction between S. aureus and the infected host, where ?Sa3 serves as a regulator of virulence gene expression, and increased fitness and virulence in new environments.
Project description:Purpose: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized systems-based analysis of cellular pathways. The goal of this study is to investigate the significantly different pathways and genes between ST398 and ST239. Methods: mRNA profiles of ST398 and ST239 at mid-logarithmic growth phase (4h) were generated by deep sequencing, respectively in quadruplicate and duplicate samples, using the Hiseq2000 (Illumina, CA) sequencer. The four samples of ST398 are J-92 (Sample1), W-604 (Sample2), R-1025 (Sample3) and R-1089 (Sample4) and grouped to G1, while the two samples of ST239 are J-95 (Sample5) and J-99 (Sample6) and grouped to G2. The sequence reads of ST398 and ST239 that passed quality filters were respectively aligned to S. aureus subsp. aureus ST398 (RefSeq accession number AM990992) and S. aureus subsp. aureus TW20 (RefSeq accession number NC _017331) using the Burrows-Wheeler Alignment tool (BWA) followed by ANOVA (ANOVA). Only the consistent data between the four ST398 samples and two ST239 samples were reserved for further analysis. qRT–PCR validation was performed using SYBR Green assays. Results: Using an optimized data analysis workflow, RNA-seq analyses revealed four types of significantly differentially expressed genes between ST398 and ST239 (G1 only, G2 only, G1/G2>2, G2/G1>2), and only the type of G1/G2>2 was included in this study. The type of G1/G2>2 included 164 genes in total, in which there are 14 top genes showing G1/G2>5 including essB gene. Conclusions: Our data provide new information to the signicantly different genes between ST239 and ST398, especially the highly expressed genes in ST398 compared to ST239 which might be closely related to the high virulence of ST398. Overall design: mRNA profiles of ST398 and ST239 were generated by deep sequencing, in duplicate, using the Hiseq2000 (Illumina, CA) sequencer.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus: with the sequence type (ST) 398 was previously associated with livestock carriage. However, in recent years livestock-independent S. aureus ST398 has emerged, representing a potential health risk for humans especially in nosocomial settings. Judged by whole-genome sequencing analyses, the livestock- and human originated strains belong to two different S. aureus ST398 clades but, to date, it was not known to what extent these clades differ in terms of actual virulence. Therefore, the objective of this study was to profile the exoproteomes of 30 representative S. aureus ST398 strains by mass spectrometry, to assess clade-specific differences in virulence factor secretion, and to correlate the identified proteins and their relative abundance to the strains' actual virulence. Although the human-originated strains are more heterogeneous at the genome level, our observations show that they are more homogeneous in terms of virulence factor production than the livestock-associated strains. To assess differences in virulence, infection models based on larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella and the human HeLa cell line were applied. Correlation of the exoproteome data to larval killing and toxicity toward HeLa cells uncovered critical roles of the staphylococcal Sbi, SpA, SCIN and CHIPS proteins in virulence. These findings were validated by showing that sbi or spa mutant bacteria are attenuated in G. mellonella and that the purified SCIN and CHIPS proteins are toxic for HeLa cells. Altogether, we show that exoproteome profiling allows the identification of critical determinants for virulence of livestock-associated and human-originated S. aureus ST398 strains.
Project description:UNLABELLED:A methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone known as ST398 has emerged as a major cause of acute infections in individuals who have close contact with livestock. More recently, the emergence of an animal-independent ST398 methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) clone has been documented in several countries. However, the limited surveillance of MSSA has precluded an accurate assessment of the global spread of ST398 and its clinical relevance. Here we provide evidence that ST398 is a frequent source of MSSA infections in northern Manhattan and is readily transmitted between individuals in households. This contrasts with the limited transmissibility of livestock-associated ST398 (LA-ST398) MRSA strains between humans. Our whole-genome sequence analysis revealed that the chromosome of the human-associated ST398 MSSA clone is smaller than that of the LA-ST398 MRSA reference strain S0385, due mainly to fewer mobile genetic elements (MGEs). In contrast, human ST398 MSSA isolates harbored the prophage ?3 and the human-specific immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes chp and scn. While most of the core genome was conserved between the human ST398 MSSA clone and S0385, these strains differed substantially in their repertoire and composition of intact adhesion genes. These genetic changes were associated with significantly enhanced adhesion of human ST398 MSSA isolates to human skin keratinocytes and keratin. We propose that the human ST398 MSSA clone can spread independent of animal contact using an optimized repertoire of MGEs and adhesion molecules adapted to transmission among humans. IMPORTANCE:Staphylococcus aureus strains have generally been considered to be species specific. However, cross-species transfers of S. aureus clones, such as ST398 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), from swine to humans have been reported. Recently, we observed the emergence of ST398 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) as a colonizing strain of humans in northern Manhattan. Here we report that ST398 is a frequent cause of MSSA infections in this urban setting. The ST398 MSSA clone was readily transmitted within households, independent of animal contact. We discovered that human ST398 MSSA genomes were smaller than that of the LA-ST398 strain S0385 due to fewer mobile genetic elements. Human and LA-ST398 strains also differed in their composition of adhesion genes and their ability to bind to human skin keratinocytes, providing a potential mechanism of S. aureus host adaptation. Our findings illustrate the importance of implementing molecular surveillance of MSSA given the evidence for the rapid and clinically undetected spread of ST398 MSSA.
Project description:The ESAT-6 secretion system (ESS) has been reported to contribute to the virulence and pathogenicity of several Staphylococcus aureus strains such as USA300 and Newman. However, the role of the ESS in community-associated S. aureus (CA-SA) lineage ST398 in China is not well understood. By comparing the ess locus of ST398 with the published S. aureus sequence in the NCBI database, we found one gene in the ess locus encoding a novel WXG superfamily protein that is highly conserved only in ST398. LC-MS/MS and Western blot analysis revealed that this protein is a novel secreted protein controlled by the ST398 ESS, and we named the protein EsxX. Although EsxX was not under the control of the accessory gene regulator like many other virulence factors and had no influence on several phenotypes of ST398, such as growth, hemolysis, and biofilm formation, it showed important impacts on immune evasion and virulence in ST398. An esxX deletion mutant led to significantly reduced resistance to neutrophil killing and decreased virulence in murine skin and blood infection models, indicating its essential contribution to the evasion of innate host defense and virulence to support the pathogenesis of ST398 infections. The function of this novel secreted protein EsxX might help us better understand the role of the ESS in the virulence and epidemic success of the CA-SA lineage ST398.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We describe the virulence factors of a methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus sequence type (ST) 45 strain, MCRF184, (spa type t917), that caused severe necrotizing fasciitis in a 72-year-old diabetic male. The genome of MCRF184 possesses three genomic islands: a relatively large type III ?Sa? with 42 open reading frames (ORFs) that includes superantigen- and lipoprotein-like genes, a truncated ?Sa? that consists mostly of the enterotoxin gene cluster (egc), and a ?Sa? island with 18 ORFs including ?-toxin. Additionally, the genome has two phage-related regions: phage ?Sa3 with three genes of the immune evasion cluster (IEC), and an incomplete phage that is distinct from other S. aureus phages. Finally, the region between orfX and orfY harbors a putative efflux pump, acetyltransferase, regulators, and mobilization genes instead of genes of SCCmec. RESULTS:Virulence factors included phenol soluble modulins (PSMs) ?1 through ?4 and PSMs ?1 and ?2. Ten ORFs identified in MCRF184 had not been reported in previously sequenced S. aureus strains. CONCLUSION:The dire clinical outcome in the patient and the described virulence factors all suggest that MCRF184, a ST45 strain is a highly virulent strain of S. aureus.