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Surface proteins of Staphylococcus aureus play an important role in experimental skin infection.

Journal article
Authors Jakub Kwiecinski
Tao Jin
Elisabet Josefsson
Published in APMIS : acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica
Volume 122
Issue 12
Pages 1240–1250
ISSN 1600-0463
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 1240–1250
Language en
Subject categories Bacteriology, Infectious Medicine


Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of skin infections that range from mild diseases up to life-threatening conditions. Mechanisms of S. aureus virulence in those infections remain poorly studied. To investigate the impact of S. aureus surface proteins on skin infection, we used mouse models of skin abscess formation and skin necrosis, induced by a subcutaneous injection of bacteria. In the skin abscess model, a sortase-deficient S. aureus strain lacking all of its cell-wall anchored proteins was less virulent than its wild-type strain. Also, strains specifically lacking protein A, fibronecting binding proteins, clumping factor A or surface protein SasF were impaired in their virulence. When a model of dermonecrosis was studied, the S. aureus surface proteins could not be shown to be involved. In summary, surface proteins play an important role in virulence of S. aureus skin abscess infections, but not in formation of skin necrosis.

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