β-Lactam antibiotics induce the SOS response and horizontal transfer of virulence factors in staphylococcus aureus

Maiques, E., Ubeda, C., Campoy, S., Salvador, N., Lasa, I., Novick, R.P., Barbe, J. and Penades, J.R. (2006) β-Lactam antibiotics induce the SOS response and horizontal transfer of virulence factors in staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Bacteriology, 188(7), pp. 2726-2729. (doi:10.1128/JB.188.7.2726-2729.2006)

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Abstract

Antibiotics that interfere with DNA replication and cell viability activate the SOS response. In Staphylococcus aureus, the antibiotic-induced SOS response promotes replication and high-frequency horizontal transfer of pathogenicity island-encoded virulence factors. Here we report that β-lactams induce a bona fide SOS response in S. aureus, characterized by the activation of the RecA and LexA proteins, the two master regulators of the SOS response. Moreover, we show that β-lactams are capable of triggering staphylococcal prophage induction in S. aureus lysogens. Consequently, and as previously described for SOS induction by commonly used fluoroquinolone antibiotics, β-lactam-mediated phage induction also resulted in replication and high-frequency transfer of the staphylococcal pathogenicity islands, showing that such antibiotics may have the unintended consequence of promoting the spread of bacterial virulence factors.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Penades, Professor Jose R
Authors: Maiques, E., Ubeda, C., Campoy, S., Salvador, N., Lasa, I., Novick, R.P., Barbe, J., and Penades, J.R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Bacteriology
ISSN:0021-9193
ISSN (Online):1098-5530

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