Clinical MRSA isolates from skin and soft tissue infections show increased in vitro production of phenol soluble modulins.
BACKGROUND: Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are amphipathic, pro-inflammatory proteins secreted by most Staphylococcus aureus isolates. This study tested the hypothesis that in vitro PSM production levels are associated with specific clinical phenotypes. METHODS: 177 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates from infective endocarditis (IE), skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI), and hospital-acquired/ventilator-associated pneumonia (HAP) were matched by geographic origin, then genotyped using spa-typing. In vitro PSM production was measured by high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-squared or Kruskal-Wallis tests as appropriate. RESULTS: Spa type 1 was significantly more common in SSTI isolates (62.7% SSTI; 1.7% IE; 16.9% HAP; p < 0.0001) while HAP and IE isolates were more commonly spa type 2 (0% SSTI; 37.3% IE; 40.7% HAP; p < 0.0001). USA300 isolates produced the highest levels of PSMs in vitro. SSTI isolates produced significantly higher quantities of PSMα1-4, PSMβ1, and δ-toxin than other isolates (p < 0.001). These findings persisted when USA300 isolates were excluded from analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Increased in vitro production of PSMs is associated with an SSTI clinical source. This significant association persisted after exclusion of USA300 genotype isolates from analysis, suggesting that PSMs play a particularly important role in the pathogenesis of SSTI as compared to other infection types.
Berlon, NR; Qi, R; Sharma-Kuinkel, BK; Joo, H-S; Park, LP; George, D; Thaden, JT; Messina, JA; Maskarinec, SA; Mueller-Premru, M; Athan, E; Tattevin, P; Pericas, JM; Woods, CW; Otto, M; Fowler, VG
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)