Successful strategies of Staphylococcus aureus to colonize and invade the human epithelial barriers and its interaction with the microenvironment

BMBF 01KI1009Aim Projekt “The Skin – barrier and target to Staphylococcus aureus: from colonization to invasive infection (SkIn Staph) - 2. Förderperiode” im BMBF-Verbundprojekt “Suszeptibilität von Infektionen
K. Becker, D. Pieper, B. Löffler, B. Kahl, G. Peters
08/2010 – 07/2013
We and others have shown that colonization of the epithelial barrier of the skin by Staphylococcus aureus with the anterior nares as primary habitat is the general source and a main risk factor for infection with this pathogen. However, it is largely unknown how the pathogen overcomes the epithelial barrier causing local and systemic infections and whether colonization involves S. aureus persistence within the host cells. During the first funding period, we have successfully studied phenotypic characteristics of the pathogen responsible for successful host-pathogen interaction and staphylococcal virulence factors involved in the intracellular persistence of this pathogen. Furthermore, we defined for the first time the complete bacterial community of the anterior nares and refined molecular tools to allow high throughput analysis. Pursuing the concept of this network to perform a stepwise breakdown of skin colonization and infection by S. aureus, aims of the second funding period will be to investigate the intracellular fate of S. aureus, to analyze the host cell response on the S. aureus invasion and persistence processes and to reveal the nasal microenvironment.

Staphylococcal phenotypes: Normal and small colony variant (SCV) phenotype