SORDELLI Daniel Oscar
Within-host evolution of bovine Staphylococcus aureus selects for a SigB-deficient pathotype characterized by reduced virulence but enhanced proteolytic activity and biofilm formation
MARBACH H; MAYER K; VOGL C; LEE JYH; MONK IR; SORDELLI DO; BUZZOLA FR; EHLING-SCHULTZ M; GRUNERT T
Lugar: Stuttgart; Año: 2019 vol. 9 p. 1 - 12
Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of bovine mastitis, commonly leading to long-lasting, persistent and recurrent infections. Thereby, S. aureus constantly refines and permanently adapts to the bovine udder environment. In this work, we followed S. aureus within-host adaptation over the course of three months in a naturally infected dairy cattle with chronic, subclinical mastitis. Whole genome sequence analysis revealed a complete replacement of the initial predominant variant by another isogenic variant. We report for the first time within-host evolution towards a sigma factor SigB-deficient pathotype in S. aureus bovine mastitis, associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism in rsbU (G368A → G122D), a contributor to SigB-functionality. The emerged SigB-deficient pathotype exhibits a substantial shift to new phenotypic traits comprising strong proteolytic activity and poly-N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG)-based biofilm production. This possibly unlocks new nutritional resources and promotes immune evasion, presumably facilitating extracellular persistence within the host. Moreover, we observed an adaptation towards attenuated virulence using a mouse infection model. This study extends the role of sigma factor SigB in S. aureus pathogenesis, so far described to be required for intracellular persistence during chronic infections. Our findings suggest that S. aureus SigB-deficiency is an alternative mechanism for persistence and underpin the clinical relevance of staphylococcal SigB-deficient variants which are consistently isolated during human chronic infections.