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Carsten Scavenius

Staphylococcus saccharolyticus Isolated From Blood Cultures and Prosthetic Joint Infections Exhibits Excessive Genome Decay

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  • Holger Bruggemann
  • Anja Poehlein, Univ Gottingen, University of Gottingen, Inst Microbiol & Genet, Dept Genom & Appl Microbiol
  • ,
  • Elzbieta Brzuszkiewicz, Univ Gottingen, University of Gottingen, Inst Microbiol & Genet, Dept Genom & Appl Microbiol
  • ,
  • Carsten Scavenius
  • Jan J. Enghild
  • Munir A. Al-Zeer, Tech Univ Berlin, Technical University of Berlin, Inst Biotechnol, Dept Appl Biochem
  • ,
  • Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Inst Infect Biol, Max Planck Society, Microscopy Core Facil
  • ,
  • Anders Jensen
  • ,
  • Bo Soderquist, Orebro Univ, Orebro University, Fac Med & Hlth, Clin Microbiol, Dept Lab Med

The slow-growing, anaerobic, coagulase-negative species Staphylococcus saccharolyticus is found on human skin and in clinical specimens but its pathogenic potential is unclear. Here, we investigated clinical isolates and sequenced the genomes of seven strains of S. saccharolyticus. Phylogenomic analyses showed that the closest relative of S. saccharolyticus is Staphylococcus capitis with an average nucleotide identity of 80%. Previously sequenced strains assigned to S. saccharoiyticus are misclassified and belong to S. capitis. Based on single nucleotide polymorphisms of the core genome, the population of S. saccharolyticus can be divided into two clades that also differ in a few larger genomic islands as part of the flexible genome. An unexpected feature of S. saccharolyticus is extensive genome decay, with over 300 pseudogenes, indicating ongoing reductive evolution. Many genes of the core metabolism are not functional, rendering the species auxotrophic for several amino acids, which could explain its slow growth and need for fastidious growth conditions. Secreted proteins of S. saccharolyticus were determined; they include stress response proteins such as heat and oxidative stress-related factors, as well as immunodominant staphylococcal surface antigens and enzymes that can degrade host tissue components. The strains secrete lipases and a hyaluronic acid lyase. Hyaluronidase as well as urease activities were detected in biochemical assays, with Glade-specific differences. Our study revealed that S. saccharolyticus has adapted its genome, possibly due to a recent change of habitat; moreover, the data imply that the species has tissue-invasive potential and might cause prosthetic joint infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number478
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • Staphylococcus, Staphylococcus saccharolyticus, coegulase-negative staphylococci, prosthetic joint infection, slow-growing bacteria, genome, genome decay, hyaluronic acid lyase, COAGULASE-NEGATIVE STAPHYLOCOCCI, VIRULENCE FACTORS, AUREUS, EXPRESSION, PROTEINS, SEQUENCE, SYSTEM, IDENTIFICATION, HYALURONIDASE, ENDOCARDITIS, Slow-growing bacteria, Prosthetic joint infection, Coagulase-negative staphylococci, Genome decay, Hyaluronic acid lyase, Genome

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