Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Evolutionary trade-offs underlie the multi-faceted virulence of Staphylococcus aureus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Maisem Laabei, Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, Franklin D Lowy, Eloise D Austin, Maho Yokoyama, Khadija Ouadi, Edward Feil, Harry A Thorpe, Barnabas Williams, Mark Perkins, Sharon J Peacock, Stephen R Clarke, Janina Dordel, Matthew Holden, Antonina A Votintseva, Rory Bowden, Derrick W Crook, Bernadette C Young, Daniel J Wilson, Mario Recker & 1 others Ruth C Massey

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Bacterial virulence is a multifaceted trait where the interactions between pathogen and host factors affect the severity and outcome of the infection. Toxin secretion is central to the biology of many bacterial pathogens and is widely accepted as playing a crucial role in disease pathology. To understand the relationship between toxicity and bacterial virulence in greater depth, we studied two sequenced collections of the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and found an unexpected inverse correlation between bacterial toxicity and disease severity. By applying a functional genomics approach, we identified several novel toxicity-affecting loci responsible for the wide range in toxic phenotypes observed within these collections. To understand the apparent higher propensity of low toxicity isolates to cause bacteraemia, we performed several functional assays, and our findings suggest that within-host fitness differences between high- and low-toxicity isolates in human serum is a contributing factor. As invasive infections, such as bacteraemia, limit the opportunities for onward transmission, highly toxic strains could gain an additional between-host fitness advantage, potentially contributing to the maintenance of toxicity at the population level. Our results clearly demonstrate how evolutionary trade-offs between toxicity, relative fitness, and transmissibility are critical for understanding the multifaceted nature of bacterial virulence.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002229
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2015

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The microevolution and epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus colonization during atopic eczema disease flare

    Harkins, C. P., Pettigrew, K. A., Oravcová, K., Gardner, J., Hearn, R. M. R., Rice, D., Mather, A. E., Parkhill, J., Brown, S. J., Proby, C. M. & Holden, M. T. G. 23 Sep 2017 In : Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 138, 2, p. 336-343

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa intensive care unit outbreak: winnowing of transmissions with molecular and genomic typing

    Parcell, B. J., Oravcova, K., Pinheiro, M., Holden, M. T. G., Phillips, G., Turton, J. F. & Gillespie, S. H. 8 Dec 2017 In : Journal of Hospital Infection. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Haem-iron plays a key role in the regulation of the Ess/type VII secretion system of Staphylococcus aureus RN6390

    Casabona, M. G., Kneuper, H., Alferes de Lima, D., Harkins, C. P., Zoltner, M., Hjerde, E., Holden, M. T. G. & Palmer, T. 24 Nov 2017 In : Microbiology. Latest Article

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Functional analysis of the EsaB component of the Staphylococcus aureus Type VII secretion system

    Casabona, M. G., Buchanan, G., Zoltner, M., Harkins, C. P., Holden, M. T. G. & Palmer, T. 22 Nov 2017 In : Microbiology. Latest Article, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. The genetic diversity of Staphylococcus aureus colonisation in atopic eczema disease flare

    Harkins, C. P., Pettigrew, K. A., Oravcova, K., Gardner, J., Hearn, R., Rice, D., Mather, A. E., Parkhill, J., Brown, S. J., Proby, C. M. & Holden, M. T. Oct 2017 In : Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 137, 10, p. S258-S258 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract

Related by journal

  1. Molecular regionalization of the developing amphioxus neural tube challenges major partitions of the vertebrate brain

    Albuixech-Crespo, B., López-Blanch, L., Burguera, D., Maeso, I., Sánchez Arrones, L., Moreno-Bravo, J. A., Somorjai, I., Pascual-Anaya, J., Puelles, E., Bovolenta, P., Garcia-Fernàndez, J., Puelles, L., Irimia, M. & Ferran, J. L. 19 Apr 2017 In : PLoS Biology. 15, 4, 34 p., e2001573

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. An estimate of the total DNA in the biosphere

    Landenmark, H. K. E., Forgan, D. H. & Cockell, C. S. 11 Jun 2015 In : PLoS Biology. 13, 6, p. 1-10 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Mother and offspring in conflict: why not?

    Úbeda, F. & Gardner, A. 18 Mar 2015 In : PLoS Biology. 13, 3, 5 p., e1002084

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  4. Ancient and novel small RNA pathways compensate for the loss of piRNAs in multiple independent nematode lineages

    Sarkies, P., Selkirk, M. E., Jones, J. T., Blok, V., Boothby, T., Goldstein, B., Hanelt, B., Ardila-Garcia, A., Fast, N. M., Schiffer, P. M., Kraus, C., Taylor, M. J., Koutsovoulos, G., Blaxter, M. L. & Miska, E. A. 10 Feb 2015 In : PLoS Biology. 13, 2, 20 p., e1002061

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. PLoS Biology (Journal)

    Smout, S. C. (Reviewer)
    1 Apr 201730 Apr 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. PLoS Biology (Journal)

    Smout, S. C. (Reviewer)
    20112012

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 214495861