Global analysis of immune evasion strategies in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates

Brignoli, Tarcisio (2019) Global analysis of immune evasion strategies in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 31 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8794.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Salvo eventuali più ampie autorizzazioni dell'autore, la tesi può essere liberamente consultata e può essere effettuato il salvataggio e la stampa di una copia per fini strettamente personali di studio, di ricerca e di insegnamento, con espresso divieto di qualunque utilizzo direttamente o indirettamente commerciale. Ogni altro diritto sul materiale è riservato.
Download (4MB)


Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, leading cause of soft tissue and blood stream infections. One of the causes of its success as a pathogen is the peculiar array of immune evasion factors that enables the bacterium to avoid host defenses, in which the staphylococcal protein A (SpA) plays a major role thanks to its IgG binding activities. Moreover, SpA has been recently proposed as a promising vaccine antigen. In this study, we evaluated the expression of SpA in a collection of staphylococcal strains, among which about 7% did not express SpA (SpA- strains), despite the presence of the gene. By a comparative genomic analysis, we identified that a mutation in the spa 5’ UTR sequence affecting the RBS is responsible for the loss of SpA in a subset of SpA- strains. Using a high-throughput qRT-PCR approach on a selected panel of virulence-related genes, we identified that the SpA- phenotype is associated with lower spa transcript levels and increased expression and production of capsule as well as other changes in the transcription of several key virulence factors. Our data suggest that the SpA- phenotype has occurred in geographically distinct strains through different molecular mechanisms including both transcription and translation alterations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the SpA- strains are highly susceptible to phagocytic uptake mediated by anti-capsule antibodies. These data suggest that S. aureus may alter its virulence factor expression pattern as an adaptation to the host or environment. Vaccination strategies targeting both SpA and capsule could therefore result in broader coverage against staphylococcal isolates.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Brignoli, Tarcisio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
staphyloccus aureus, protein A, capsule
Data di discussione
3 Aprile 2019

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi