Researchers find link to severe Staph infections

December 23, 2008

Researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health recently described studies that support the link between the severity of community-acquired antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA MRSA) infections and the Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL).

The Panton Valentine leukocidin is made up of two components - LukF-PV and LukS-PV - and is typically produced by community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA MRSA). In the United States this strain is the most common CA MRSA isolate and can cause severe skin infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections and surgical wound infections.

This work has identified using animal models that the PVL leukotoxin can be used as a vaccine against infections caused by CA MRSA. Results from the research will be published in the December issue of Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the antibiotic-resistant USA300 CA MRSA strain is typically acquired by persons through contact with the bacteria. This Staph strain is not typically associated with hospitalizations or medical procedures.

Eric Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor of infectious diseases at the UT School of Public Health and colleagues also tested the virulence of PVL in CA MRSA by using clinical strains of USA300 that did and did not contain the pore-forming toxin.

"The bacteria is not the same as it was several years ago. It has all of the weapons and toxins that other strains don't have, which makes it easier for this strain to survive efficiently inside of cells," Brown said.

"Immunity directed against LukS was more efficient in protecting mice against a USA300 infection compared to mice vaccinated with LukF-PV or alpha toxin," Brown said. His research found that LukS-PV was effective at protecting against certain types of infections reinforcing the importance of this virulence factor in the disease process. LukS-PV given through the nose protected the mice against pneumonia, conversely if administered subcutaneously it protected against skin infections.

Brown said, "The [vaccination] route and infection routes correlated with each other i.e., intranasally-immunized mice were better protected against pneumonia than subcutaneously vaccinated mice and subcutaneously-vaccinated mice were better protected against a skin infection than against pneumonia. This in part may be related to the type of immune response generated at the skin compared to the lung."

In addition, Brown and colleagues have examined the anti-PVL antibody responses in pediatric patients diagnosed with Staph infections compared to antibody responses to other USA300 virulence factors. The study found patients who had Staph infections caused by PVL-positive strains had a dominant response to the LukS and LukF proteins.

Source: University of Texas at Houston

Explore further: Antibiotics and biocidal cleaners may spread multidrug resistance in MRSA

Related Stories

Antibiotics and biocidal cleaners may spread multidrug resistance in MRSA

September 22, 2017
Antibiotic use on people or pets, and use of biocidal cleaning products such as bleach, are associated with multidrug resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the home. This contamination of the ...

New research raises questions about using certain antibiotics to treat 'superbug' MRSA

November 11, 2015
A new study sheds light on how treatment of the "superbug" known as MRSA with certain antibiotics can potentially make patients sicker. The findings by Cedars-Sinai scientists, published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, ...

New class of anti-bacterial drugs against MRSA discovered

October 2, 2012
Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered a new class of treatment against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as evidence of a growing need to quickly genotype individual strains of ...

MRSA researchers identify new class of drugs effective against superbug

October 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—In two separate studies, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have discovered a new class of treatment against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as evidence ...

New study explains why MRSA 'superbug' kills influenza patients

August 15, 2016
Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium (or "superbug") often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response ...

'Nanosponge vaccine' fights MRSA toxins

December 1, 2013
Nanosponges that soak up a dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) could serve as a safe and effective vaccine against this toxin. This "nanosponge vaccine" enabled the ...

Recommended for you

Novel therapies for multidrug-resistant bacteria

October 23, 2017
During this innovative study published in PLOS One, researchers found that novel classes of compounds, such as metal-complexes, can be used as alternatives to or to supplement traditional antibiotics, which have become ineffective ...

Key discoveries offer significant hope of reversing antibiotic resistance

October 23, 2017
Resistance to antibiotics is becoming increasingly prevalent and threatens to undermine healthcare systems across the globe. Antibiotics including penicillins, cephalosporins and carbapenems are known as β-lactams and are ...

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.