Journal of Pathogens

Highlights

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Solanum Sola l 1 profilin Lyc e 1. These infections are traditionally classified based on clinical symptoms, laboratory data, and microbiological findings. Panztel brushes off the recession. Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen due to a combination of toxin-mediated virulence, invasiveness, and antibiotic resistance. Production of polysaccharides in biofilm forming strains facilitates aggregation, adherence, and surface tolerance, allowing better surface colonization [ 31 ].

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Bacterial Biofilm: Its Composition, Formation and Role in Human Infections

Epub Mar Epub Jul 9. Epub May Epub Mar 2. Epub Feb Emergence of fluoroquinolone-resistant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in blood isolates causing bacteremia: Epub Oct Epub Jul The cefazolin inoculum effect in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus blood isolates: Epub Jun Int J Antimicrob Agents. Epub Nov 3. Epub Dec 1. A new causative bacteria of infective endocarditis, Bergeyella cardium sp nov.

Clinical features and risk factors for development of Bacillus bacteremia among adult patients with cancer: Anti-anaerobic coverage is not necessary for Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess: Outcome of culture-negative pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis: Epub Aug 1.

Extended-spectrum cephalosporins and the inoculum effect in tests with CTX-M-type extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli: Scand J Infect Dis.

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Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen due to a combination of toxin-mediated virulence, invasiveness, and antibiotic resistance.

This bacterium is a significant cause of nosocomial infections, as well as community-acquired diseases. The spectrum of staphylococcal infections ranges from pimples and furuncles to toxic shock syndrome and sepsis, most of which depend on numerous virulence factors. On the other hand, some infections, such as staphylococcal food poisoning, rely on one single type of virulence factor: The symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning are abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, sometimes followed by diarrhea never diarrhea alone.

The onset of symptoms is rapid from 30 min to 8 h and usually spontaneous remission is observed after 24 h. Several staphylococcal species other than S.

For example, among the coagulase negative species, S. The coagulase positive S. Staphylococcus intermedius is the only non- S. Studies on SEs started from the analysis of S. In the first SEs identified, the peptide sequence was available before the nucleo tide sequence.

This was the case for SEA Huang et al. The abundance of literature on SEs varies considerably among the types, according to the chronology of their identification and their importance in staphylococcal food poisoning. To date, 14 different SE types have been identified, which share structure and sequence similarities Table 2.

The SEs are short proteins secreted in the medium and soluble in water and saline solutions. Some of their biochemical characteristics are summarized in Table 3. They are rich in lysine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and tyrosine residues. Most of them possess a cystine loop required for proper conformation and which is probably involved in the emetic activity discussed below.

They are highly stable, resist most proteolytic enzymes, such as pepsin or trypsin, and thus keep their activity in the digestive tract after ingestion. They also resist chymotrypsine, rennin and papain. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B can be destroyed by pepsin digestion at pH 2 but it is pepsin resistant at higher pHs, which are normal conditions in the stomach after food ingestion Bergdoll, Staphylococcal enterotoxins are highly heat resistant as well; they are thought to be more heat resistant in foodstuffs than in a laboratory culture medium Bergdoll, , but can be inactivated by heat treatments used in the sterilization of canned foods when they are present at low concentrations Bergdoll, Great efforts have been applied to the development of detection methods for SEs, based on immunological and activity assays.

Although immunological assays are quicker and cheaper, the relevance of the immunological approach is still under discussion. Heat treatment in an acidic medium usually leads to a loss of immunological activity and a concomitant loss of biological activity.

Nevertheless, SEA and SED were found to be undetectable loss of serological recognition but still active in kittens in an in vivo assay after heat treatment Bennet, It is thus quite difficult to foresee the impact of heat treatment on SE activity, since it depends on SE type, SE concentration and the food matrix. Furthermore, in some cases, heat inactivation is spontaneously reversible by an alkaline pH Schwabe et al. Taken together, these data show that SEs resist conditions heat treatment, low pH that easily destroy the bacteria that produced them.

Genes encoding SEs have different genetic supports, most of which are mobile genetic elements Table 4. For example, sea is carried by a family of temperate phages Betley and Mekalanos, ; Coleman et al. Seb is chromosomally located in some clinical isolates Shafer and Iandolo, , whereas it has been found in a kb plasmid in other S.

SEC bovine is encoded by a gene located on a pathogenicity island Fitzgerald et al. The main regulatory system controlling the gene expression of virulence factors in S. Some but not all of the SE genes are controlled by the agr system. The seb , sec and sed genes have been demonstrated to be agr dependent, whereas sea and sej are agr independent Tremaine et al. Recent research by Vojtov et al. As agr expression is tightly linked to quorum sensing Novick, , the production of agr -dependent SEs in foodstuffs is dependent on the ability of S.

The SEs belong to a family of the so-called pyrogenic toxins originating from staphylococcus and streptococcus species. These toxins share some structure, function and sequence similarities. They have phylogenetic relationships as well for a review, see Balaban and Rasooly, Until recently, SEs were discovered in studies of S. More recently, increasing data resulting from partial or complete genome sequence analyses have allowed the identification of several new SE types.

These new SEs were first identified on the basis of sequence and structural similarities with existing SEs. Although pyrogenic toxins are involved in distinct pathologies, they have common biological activities: These activities are referred to as superantigen activity. Besides these common features, some toxins are able to cause other symptoms. Among superantigens, only SEs have emetic activity.

Superantigen and emetic activity of the SEs are two separate functions localized on separate domains of the protein Hovde et al. Nevertheless, a high correlation exists between these activities since, in most cases, genetic mutations resulting in a loss of superantigen activity result also in a loss of emetic activity Harris et al. T-cell antigen receptors are glycosylated heterodimers composed either of a and b , or of d and g chains. This recognition of the antigen is a primary step in the cellular immune response and is a key to the high specificity of the immune response.

This cross-link results in the nonspecific activation and proliferation of T-cells and a massive secretion of interleukins that may be involved in the mechanism of SE toxicity. Through this interaction, SEs activate T-cells at orders of magnitude above antigen-specific activation. This dramatic activation causes toxic shock syndrome McCormick et al. The domains of SE involved in these interactions are well characterized through genetic and crystallographic studies.

SEB has been particularly well studied due to its potent superantigen activity. SEB-producing strains are considered as potential microbiological weapons of warfare and terrorism Greenfield et al. The emetic activity of SEs is not as well characterized as superantigen activity. The enterotoxin activity is uniquely characterized by the SE ability to cause emetic responses when administered orally to monkeys, whereas other superantigens are not emetic Dinges et al.

Little is known about how SEs cause symptoms of food poisoning; they may have a direct effect on intestinal epithelium and on the vagus nerve, causing stimulation of the emetic center and of gut transit Bergdoll, ; Arbuthnott et al.

The infective dose required to induce staphylococcal food poisoning in humans is estimated to be around 0. Although there is considerable data on the structure-function relationships of SE superantigen activity, emetic activity has not been precisely localized. One common feature of SEs is a cystine loop, thought to be important for emetic activity based on mutant analyses Hovde et al. However, SEI lacks the cystine loop structure and is both superantigenic and emetic; this emetic activity is nevertheless significantly lower than that of other SEs Munson et al.

These latter SEs have not been tested yet for their emetic activity. SEs possess two distinct activities. How these activities are linked remains unclear. A working hypothesis is that enterotoxin activity may facilitate transcytosis, thus enabling the toxin to enter the bloodstream and interact with T-cells, leading to superantigen activity Hamad et al. Many studies have investigated the conditions in which S. SE production has been studied in strains grown in laboratory media and in diverse foodstuffs.

The abundance of literature is much greater for SEs with agr -dependent expression. Conditions of expression of agr are so well documented because it regulates most of the virulence factors in S. Staphylococcus aureus is considered an exigent bacterium in terms of nutritional requirements. Valine is necessary for growth and arginine and cystine are necessary for both growth and SE production in five strains of S. The necessities for other amino acids vary with the strains Onoue and Mori, This inhibitory effect has been attributed to a drop in pH, as a consequence of glucose metabolism.

These observations could also be correlated with agr -dependent synthesis of these SEs. Glucose and low pH indeed have an inhibitory effect on agr expression Regassa et al.

SE production is optimal in neutral pH and decreases in acidic pH. Usually, SE production is inhibited in pH below 5. At a given pH, substances used to acidify the medium may have more or less effects. For example, acetic acid has a greater inhibitory effect than lactic acid on SE production. Staphylococcus aureus is quite sensitive to microbial competition. This feature has been particularly well studied in fermented food products.

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