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Naturally occurring polymorphisms in the virulence regulator Rsp modulate Staphylococcus aureus survival in blood and antibiotic susceptibility

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Author(s)

Aishwarya Krishna, Matthew T G Holden, Sharon J Peacock, Andrew M Edwards, Sivaramesh Wigneshweraraj

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Abstract

Nasal colonization by the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is a risk factor for subsequent infection. Loss of function mutations in the gene encoding the virulence regulator Rsp are associated with the transition of S. aureus from a colonizing isolate to one that causes bacteraemia. Here, we report the identification of several novel activity-altering mutations in rsp detected in clinical isolates, including for the first time, mutations that enhance agr operon activity. We assessed how these mutations affected infection-relevant phenotypes and found loss and enhancement of function mutations to have contrasting effects on S. aureus survival in blood and antibiotic susceptibility. These findings add to the growing body of evidence that suggests S. aureus 'trades off' virulence for the acquisition of traits that benefit survival in the host, and indicates that infection severity and treatment options can be significantly affected by mutations in the virulence regulator rsp.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology
VolumeLatest Article
Early online date20 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Virulence regulator, Bacteraemia, Staphylococcus aureas, Rsp, Mutations

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