Influence of Tigecycline on Expression of Virulence Factors in Biofilm-Associated Cells of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Smith, K., Gould, K., Ramage, G., Gemmell, C., Hinds, J. and Lang, S. (2010) Influence of Tigecycline on Expression of Virulence Factors in Biofilm-Associated Cells of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 54(1), pp. 380-387. (doi:10.1128/AAC.00155-09)

Smith, K., Gould, K., Ramage, G., Gemmell, C., Hinds, J. and Lang, S. (2010) Influence of Tigecycline on Expression of Virulence Factors in Biofilm-Associated Cells of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 54(1), pp. 380-387. (doi:10.1128/AAC.00155-09)

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Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are complicated by the ability of the organism to grow in surface-adhered biofilms on a multitude of abiotic and biological surfaces. These multicellular communities are notoriously difficult to eradicate with antimicrobial therapy. Cells within the biofilm may be exposed to a sublethal concentration of the antimicrobial due to the metabolic and phenotypic diversity of the biofilm-associated cells or the protection offered by the biofilm structure. In the present study, the influence of a sublethal concentration of tigecycline on biofilms formed by an epidemic MRSA-16 isolate was investigated by transcriptome analysis. In the presence of the drug, 309 genes were upregulated and 213 genes were downregulated by more than twofold in comparison to the levels of gene regulation detected for the controls not grown in the presence of the drug. Microarray data were validated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR and phenotypic assays. Tigecycline altered the expression of a number of genes encoding proteins considered to be crucial for the virulence of S. aureus. These included the reduced expression of icaC, which is involved in polysaccharide intercellular adhesin production and biofilm development; the upregulation of fnbA, clfB, and cna, which encode adhesins which attach to human proteins; and the downregulation of the cap genes, which mediate the synthesis of the capsule polysaccharide. The expression of tst, which encodes toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), was also significantly reduced; and an assay performed to quantify TSST-1 showed that the level of toxin production by cells treated with tigecycline decreased by 10-fold (P < 0.001) compared to the level of production by untreated control cells. This study suggests that tigecycline may reduce the expression of important virulence factors in S. aureus and supports further investigation to determine whether it could be a useful adjunct to therapy for the treatment of biofilm-mediated infections.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ramage, Professor Gordon and Gould, Mr Kenneth and Gemmell, Professor Curtis
Authors: Smith, K., Gould, K., Ramage, G., Gemmell, C., Hinds, J., and Lang, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Journal Abbr.:Antimicrob Agents Chemother
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0066-4804
ISSN (Online):1098-6596

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