Projects per year
Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen of humans and animals. The capacity of S. aureus to adapt to different host species and tissue types is strongly influenced by the acquisition of mobile genetic elements encoding determinants involved in niche adaptation. The genomic islands nu Sa alpha and nu Sa beta are found in almost all S. aureus strains and are characterized by extensive variation in virulence gene content. However the basis for the diversity and the mechanism underlying mobilization of the genomic islands between strains are unexplained. Here, we demonstrated that the genomic island, nu Sa beta, encoding an array of virulence factors including staphylococcal superantigens, proteases, and leukotoxins, in addition to bacteriocins, was transferrable in vitro to human and animal strains of multiple S. aureus clones via a resident prophage. The transfer of the nu Sa beta appears to have been accomplished by multiple conversions of transducing phage particles carrying overlapping segments of the nu Sa beta. Our findings solve a long-standing mystery regarding the diversification and spread of the genomic island nu Sa beta, highlighting the central role of bacteriophages in the pathogenic evolution of S. aureus.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Apr 2015|
- GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIA
- PATHOGENICITY ISLANDS
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- 1 Finished
High resolution phylogenetic analysis of livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus
14/11/11 → 18/02/15