Patologia ed epidemiologia molecolare delle infezioni associate all'impianto

Ravaioli, Stefano (2010) Patologia ed epidemiologia molecolare delle infezioni associate all'impianto, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale: progetto n. 2 "Patologia sperimentale", 22 Ciclo.
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Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are leading pathogens of implant-related infections. This study aimed at investigating the diverse distribution of different bacterial pathogen factors in most prevalent S. aureus and S. epidermidis strain types causing orthopaedic implant infections. In this study the presence both of the ica genes, encoding for biofilm exopolysaccharide production, and the insertion sequence IS256, a mobile element frequently associated to transposons, was investigated in relationship with the prevalence of antibiotic resistance among Staphylococcus epidermidis strains. The investigation was conducted on 70 clinical isolates derived from orthopaedic implant infections. Among the clinical isolates investigated a dramatic high level of association was found between the presence of ica genes as well as of IS256 and multiple resistance to all the antibiotics tested. Noteworthy, a striking full association between the presence of IS256 and resistance to gentamicin was found, being none of the IS256-negative strain resistant to this antibiotic. This association is probably because of the link of the corresponding aminoglycoside-resistance genes, and IS256, often co-existing within the same staphylococcal transposon. Moreover we investigated the prevalence of aac(6’)-Ie-aph(2’’), aph (3’) IIIa, and ant(4’) genes, encoding for the three forms of aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AME), responsible for resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics. All isolates were characterized by automated ribotyping, so that the presence of antibiotic resistance determinants was investigated in strains exhibiting different ribopatterns. Interestingly, combinations of coexisting AME genes appeared to be typical of specific ribopatterns. 200 S. aureus isolates, categorized into ribogroups by automated ribotyping, i.e. rDNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, were screened for the presence of a panel of adhesins genes, accessory gene regulatory (agr) polymorphisms and toxins. For many ribogroups, characteristic tandem genes arrangements could be identified. Surprisingly, the isolates of the most prevalent cluster, enlisting 27 isolates, were susceptible to almost all antibiotics and never possessed the lukD/lukE gene, thus suggesting the role of factors other than antibiotic resistance and the here investigated toxins in driving the major epidemic clone to the larger success. Afterwards, .in the predominant S. aureus cluster, the bbp gene encoding bone sialoprotein-binding protein appeared a typical virulence trait, found in 93% of the isolates. Conversely, the bbp gene was identified in just 10% of the remaining isolates of the collection. In this cluster, co-presence of bbp with the cna gene encoding collagen adhesin was a pattern consistently observed. These findings indicate a crucial role of both these adhesins, able to bind the most abundant bone proteins, in the pathogenesis of orthopaedic implant infections, there where biomaterials interface bone tissues. Moreover a PCR screening for the ebpS gene, conducted on over two hundred S. aureus clinical isolates from implant related infections revealed the detection of six strains exhibiting an altered amplicon size, shorter than expected. In order to elucidate the sequence changes present in these gene variants, the trait comprised between the primers was analyzed in all six isolates bearing the modification and in four isolates exhibiting the regular amplicon size. From nucleotide translation, the corresponding encoded protein was found to lack an entire peptide segment of 60 amino acids. These variants, missing an entire hydrophobic region, could actually facilitate current structural studies, helping to assess whether the absent domain is strictly necessary for a functional adhesin conformation and its contribution to the topology of the protein. This study suggests that epidemic clones appear to pursue different survival strategies, where adhesins, when present, exhibit diverse importance as virulence factors. A practical message arising from the present study is that strategies for the prevention and treatment of implant orthopaedic infections should target adhesins conjointly present in epidemic clones. Furthermore, the choice of reference strains for testing the anti-infective properties of biomaterials should focus on a selection of the most prevalent clones as they exhibit distinct profiles of adhesins.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ravaioli, Stefano
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
16 Aprile 2010

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