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The innate immune response plays a crucial role in satisfactory host resolution of bacterial infection. In response to chemotactic signals, neutrophils are early responding cells that migrate in large numbers to sites of infection. The recent discovery of secreted neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) composed of DNA and histones opened a novel dimension in(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis in neonates and has been found to persist inside host phagocytic cells. The pore-forming GBS beta-hemolysin/cytolysin (betaH/C) encoded by cylE is an important virulence factor as demonstrated in several in vivo models. Interestingly, cylE deletion results not only in the(More)
Staphylococcus aureus produces hospital- and community-acquired infections, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus posing a serious public health threat. The golden carotenoid pigment of S. aureus, staphyloxanthin, promotes resistance to reactive oxygen species and host neutrophil-based killing, and early enzymatic steps in staphyloxanthin production resemble(More)
Golden color imparted by carotenoid pigments is the eponymous feature of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Here we demonstrate a role of this hallmark phenotype in virulence. Compared with the wild-type (WT) bacterium, a S. aureus mutant with disrupted carotenoid biosynthesis is more susceptible to oxidant killing, has impaired neutrophil survival,(More)
Many gram-positive bacteria covalently tether their surface adhesins to the cell wall peptidoglycan. We find that surface proteins of Staphylococcus aureus are linked to the cell wall by sortase, an enzyme that cleaves polypeptides at a conserved LPXTG motif. S. aureus mutants lacking sortase fail to process and display surface proteins and are defective in(More)
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) threatens public health worldwide, and epidemiologic data suggest that the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) expressed by most CA-MRSA strains could contribute to severe human infections, particularly in young and immunocompetent hosts. PVL is proposed to induce cytolysis or(More)
A hallmark feature of several pathogenic microbes is the distinctive color of their colonies when propagated in the clinical laboratory. Such pigmentation comes in a variety of hues, and has often proven useful in presumptive clinical diagnosis. Recent advances in microbial pigment biochemistry and the genetic basis of pigment production have sometimes(More)
Elderly humans show increased susceptibility to invasive staphylococcal disease after skin and soft tissue infection. However, it is not understood how host immunity changes with aging, and how that predisposes to invasive disease. In a model of severe skin infection, we showed that aged mice (16- to 20-month-old) exhibit dramatic bacterial dissemination(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of severe bacterial infections in human newborn infants. Advances in streptococcal molecular genetics and refinement of in vitro and in vivo model systems of GBS disease have led to the discovery and characterization of several extracellular virulence factors elaborated by this pathogen. This review(More)