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Special Issue "Staphylococcus aureus Toxins"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. William R. Schwan

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Department of Microbiology, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI 54601, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: drug discovery; natural products; drug development; preclinical testing; drug persisters; drug mechanism of action; regulation of Escherichia coli fim genes; uropathogenic E. coli; Staphylococcus aureus gene regulation and pathogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Staphylococcus aureus toxins have a significant role to play in S. aureus pathogenesis.  Toxins cause direct damage to the host and some toxins (e.g., enterotoxins and toxic shock syndrome toxin) and elicit a massive pro-inflammatory response that will contribute to indirect damage to the host. Although we know a lot about these S. aureus toxins, we still have a lot to learn about the molecular pathogenesis of them and how the genes that encode the toxins are regulated. This Special Issue will focus on how the toxins play a role in S. aureus pathogenesis, what regulatory mechanisms affect expression of the toxins, and current research tied to the development of toxoid-based vaccines to prevent S. aureus infections.

Prof. William R. Schwan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • toxin
  • regulation
  • pathogenesis
  • mechanism of action

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessCommunication
Study on the Growth and Enterotoxin Production by Staphylococcus aureus in Canned Meat before Retorting
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050291 (registering DOI)
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Possible contamination by Staphylococcus aureus of the production environment and of the meat of a canned meat production factory was analysed. A total of 108 samples were taken from nine critical control points, 13 of them were positive for S. aureus. [...] Read more.
Possible contamination by Staphylococcus aureus of the production environment and of the meat of a canned meat production factory was analysed. A total of 108 samples were taken from nine critical control points, 13 of them were positive for S. aureus. None of the isolates produced enterotoxins. To determine how much time can elapse between can seaming and sterilisation in the autoclave without any risk of enterotoxin production by S. aureus, the growth and enterotoxin production of three enterotoxin A producing strains of S. aureus (one ATCC strain and two field strains) in canned meat before sterilisation was investigated at three different temperatures (37, 20 and 10 °C). Two types of meat were used, one with and one without sodium nitrite. In the canned products, the spiked bacteria spread throughout the meat and reached high levels. Enterotoxin production was shown to start 10 hours after incubation at 37 °C and after 48 h after incubation at 20 °C; the production of enterotoxin was always detected in the transition between the exponential and the stationary growth phase. At 10 °C, the enterotoxin was never detected. The statistical analysis of the data showed that the difference between the two different types of meat was not statistically significant (p value > 0.05). Since it is well known that following heat treatment, staphylococcal enterotoxins, although still active (in in vivo assays), can be undetectable (loss of serological recognition) depending on the food matrix and pH, it is quite difficult to foresee the impact of heat treatment on enterotoxin activity. Therefore, although the bacteria are eliminated, the toxins may remain and cause food poisoning. The significance of the results of this study towards implementing good manufacturing practices and hazard analysis critical control points in a canned meat factory are discussed with reference to the management of pre-retorting steps after seaming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Staphylococcal Enterotoxin C Is an Important Virulence Factor for Mastitis
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
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Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is an important bacterial pathogen causing bovine mastitis, but little is known about the virulence factor and the inflammatory responses in the mammary infection. Staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC) is the most frequent toxin produced by S. aureus, isolated from bovine [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is an important bacterial pathogen causing bovine mastitis, but little is known about the virulence factor and the inflammatory responses in the mammary infection. Staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC) is the most frequent toxin produced by S. aureus, isolated from bovine mastitis. To investigate the pathogenic activity of SEC in the inflammation of the mammary gland and the immune responses in an animal model, mouse mammary glands were injected with SEC, and the clinical signs, inflammatory cell infiltration, and proinflammatory cytokine production in the mammary glands were assessed. SEC induced significant inflammatory reactions in the mammary gland, in a dose-dependent manner. SEC-injected mammary glands showed a severe inflammation with inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue damage. In addition, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 production in the SEC-injected mammary glands were significantly higher than those in the PBS control glands. Furthermore, the SEC-induced inflammation and tissue damage in the mammary gland were specifically inhibited by anti-SEC antibody. These results indicated, for the first time, that SEC can directly cause inflammation, proinflammatory cytokine production, and tissue damage in mammary glands, suggesting that SEC might play an important role in the development of mastitis associated with S. aureus infection. This finding offers an opportunity to develop novel treatment strategies for reduction of mammary tissue damage in mastitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical S. aureus Isolates Vary in Their Virulence to Promote Adaptation to the Host
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus colonizes epithelial surfaces, but it can also cause severe infections. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacterial virulence correlates with defined types of tissue infections. For this, we collected 10–12 clinical S. aureus strains each from nasal colonization, [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus colonizes epithelial surfaces, but it can also cause severe infections. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacterial virulence correlates with defined types of tissue infections. For this, we collected 10–12 clinical S. aureus strains each from nasal colonization, and from patients with endoprosthesis infection, hematogenous osteomyelitis, and sepsis. All strains were characterized by genotypic analysis, and by the expression of virulence factors. The host–pathogen interaction was studied through several functional assays in osteoblast cultures. Additionally, selected strains were tested in a murine sepsis/osteomyelitis model. We did not find characteristic bacterial features for the defined infection types; rather, a wide range in all strain collections regarding cytotoxicity and invasiveness was observed. Interestingly, all strains were able to persist and to form small colony variants (SCVs). However, the low-cytotoxicity strains survived in higher numbers, and were less efficiently cleared by the host than the highly cytotoxic strains. In summary, our results indicate that not only destructive, but also low-cytotoxicity strains are able to induce infections. The low-cytotoxicity strains can successfully survive, and are less efficiently cleared from the host than the highly cytotoxic strains, which represent a source for chronic infections. The understanding of this interplay/evolution between the host and the pathogen during infection, with specific attention towards low-cytotoxicity isolates, will help to optimize treatment strategies for invasive and therapy-refractory infection courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Sphingomyelin Depletion from Plasma Membranes of Human Airway Epithelial Cells Completely Abrogates the Deleterious Actions of S. aureus Alpha-Toxin
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
Interaction of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin (hemolysin A, Hla) with eukaryotic cell membranes is mediated by proteinaceous receptors and certain lipid domains in host cell plasma membranes. Hla is secreted as a 33 kDa monomer that forms heptameric transmembrane pores whose action compromises maintenance [...] Read more.
Interaction of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin (hemolysin A, Hla) with eukaryotic cell membranes is mediated by proteinaceous receptors and certain lipid domains in host cell plasma membranes. Hla is secreted as a 33 kDa monomer that forms heptameric transmembrane pores whose action compromises maintenance of cell shape and epithelial tightness. It is not exactly known whether certain membrane lipid domains of host cells facilitate adhesion of Ha monomers, oligomerization, or pore formation. We used sphingomyelinase (hemolysin B, Hlb) expressed by some strains of staphylococci to pre-treat airway epithelial model cells in order to specifically decrease the sphingomyelin (SM) abundance in their plasma membranes. Such a pre-incubation exclusively removed SM from the plasma membrane lipid fraction. It abrogated the formation of heptamers and prevented the formation of functional transmembrane pores. Hla exposure of rHlb pre-treated cells did not result in increases in [Ca2+]i, did not induce any microscopically visible changes in cell shape or formation of paracellular gaps, and did not induce hypo-phosphorylation of the actin depolymerizing factor cofilin as usual. Removal of sphingomyelin from the plasma membranes of human airway epithelial cells completely abrogates the deleterious actions of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessCommunication
Bioinformatics and Functional Assessment of Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Staphylococcus aureus
Toxins 2018, 10(11), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110473
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 7 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a nosocomial pathogen that can cause chronic to persistent infections. Among different mediators of pathogenesis, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are emerging as the most prominent. These systems are frequently studied in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterial species but rarely explored in S. [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is a nosocomial pathogen that can cause chronic to persistent infections. Among different mediators of pathogenesis, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are emerging as the most prominent. These systems are frequently studied in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterial species but rarely explored in S. aureus. In the present study, we thoroughly analyzed the S. aureus genome and screened all possible TA systems using the Rasta bacteria and toxin-antitoxin database. We further searched E. coli and Mycobacterial TA homologs and selected 67 TA loci as putative TA systems in S. aureus. The host inhibition of growth (HigBA) TA family was predominantly detected in S. aureus. In addition, we detected seven pathogenicity islands in the S. aureus genome that are enriched with virulence genes and contain 26 out of 67 TA systems. We ectopically expressed multiple TA genes in E. coli and S. aureus that exhibited bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects on cell growth. The type I Fst toxin created holes in the cell wall while the TxpA toxin reduced cell size and induced cell wall septation. Besides, we identified a new TA system whose antitoxin functions as a transcriptional autoregulator while the toxin functions as an inhibitor of autoregulation. Altogether, this study provides a plethora of new as well as previously known TA systems that will revitalize the research on S. aureus TA systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Erianin against Staphylococcus aureus Infection via Inhibiting Sortase A
Toxins 2018, 10(10), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10100385
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 23 September 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With continuous emergence and widespread of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, common antibiotics have become ineffective in treating these infections in the clinical setting. Anti-virulence strategies could be novel, effective therapeutic strategies against drug-resistant bacterial infections. Sortase A (srtA), a transpeptidase in gram-positive bacteria, [...] Read more.
With continuous emergence and widespread of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, common antibiotics have become ineffective in treating these infections in the clinical setting. Anti-virulence strategies could be novel, effective therapeutic strategies against drug-resistant bacterial infections. Sortase A (srtA), a transpeptidase in gram-positive bacteria, can anchor surface proteins that play a vital role in pathogenesis of these bacteria. SrtA is known as a potential antivirulent drug target to treat bacterial infections. In this study, we found that erianin, a natural bibenzyl compound, could inhibit the activity of srtA in vitro (half maximal inhibitory concentration—IC50 = 20.91 ± 2.31 μg/mL, 65.7 ± 7.2 μM) at subminimum inhibitory concentrations (minimum inhibitory concentrations—MIC = 512 μg/mL against S. aureus). The molecular mechanism underlying the inhibition of srtA by erianin was identified using molecular dynamics simulation: erianin binds to srtA residues Ile182, Val193, Trp194, Arg197, and Ile199, forming a stable bond via hydrophobic interactions. In addition, the activities of S. aureus binding to fibronectin and biofilm formation were inhibited by erianin, when co-culture with S. aureus. In vivo, erianin could improve the survival in mice that infected with S. aureus by tail vein injection. Experimental results showed that erianin is a potential novel therapeutic compound against S. aureus infections via affecting srtA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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