Staphylococcus aureus, autolysin, host immune response, human in vivo nasal colonization study, atl
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a major human pathogen that colonizes the anterior nares in 30% of the human population. Though nasal carriage of SA is a known risk factor for the subsequent spread of SA infections, the dynamics of SA nasal colonization is poorly understood. Our research focuses on understanding the host and bacterial factors that might contribute to the human nasal colonization by SA. In an attempt to elucidate the host response to SA, we performed an autologous human in vivo nasal colonization study, which showed decreased survival rates of SA in hosts who elicited a robust immune response. We also identified a significant correlation between SA nasal colonization and the expression of host proinflammatory, chemotactic and growth factors. Additionally, we functionally disrupted a major autolysin, atl a surface expressed bacterial protein that plays multiple roles in cell separation, adhesion and biofilm formation of SA. Microscopic analysis of the ∆atl strains showed phenotypic differences, including cell clumping and cluster formation due to defective cell separation, which confirmed the functional loss of atl. Subsequent analysis of the ∆atl and wild-type strains revealed that there was no significant difference in their ability to adhere to human nasal epithelial cells (hNEC) in an ex vivo hNEC model. Similarly, our competitive in vivo human nasal colonization study, in which equal colony-forming units of each wild-type and ∆atl SA strain were inoculated in the anterior nares of donors, showed similar survival rates between wild-type and ∆atl. These results suggest that Atl might not be directly involved in the adherence and colonization of SA to the anterior nares. Furthermore, our study suggests that host factors might play a predominant role in determining SA colonization to human anterior nares.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Medicine
Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine, Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic
Paramanandam, Vanathy, "Role Of Host Immune Response And Bacterial Autolysin Atl In Human Nasal Colonization By Staphylococcus Aureus" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3011.