Staphylococcus aureus lipase 1 enhances influenza A virus replication

Mariya Goncheva, Carina Conceição, Stephen Tuffs, Hui-Min Lee, Marlynne Quigg-Nicol, Ian Bennet, Fiona Sargison, Amy Pickering, Saira Hussain, Andy Gill, Bernadette Dutia, Paul Digard, Ross Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Influenza A virus (IAV) causes annual epidemics of respiratory disease in humans, often complicated by secondary co-infection with bacterial pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we report that the S. aureus secreted protein lipase 1 enhances IAV replication in vitro in primary cells, including human lung fibroblasts. The pro-viral activity of lipase 1 is dependent on its enzymatic function, acts late in the viral lifecycle and results in increased infectivity through positive modulation of virus budding. Furthermore, the pro-viral effect of lipase 1 on IAV is exhibited during in vivo infection of embryonated hen’s eggs and importantly, increases the yield of a vaccine strain of IAV by approximately 5-fold. Thus, we have identified the first S. aureus protein to enhance IAV replication, suggesting a potential role in co-infection. Importantly, this activity may be harnessed to address global shortages of influenza vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00975-20
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2020


  • Influenza A virus
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Co-infection
  • lipase 1


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