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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)
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)
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)
In Staphylococcus aureus, the low-molecular-weight thiol called bacillithiol (BSH), together with cognate S-transferases, is believed to be the counterpart to the glutathione system of other organisms. To explore the physiological role of BSH in S. aureus, we constructed mutants with the deletion of bshA (sa1291), which encodes the glycosyltransferase that(More)
The number of fully active antibiotic options that treat nosocomial infections due to multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) is extremely limited. Magnolia officinalis, Mahonia bealei, Rabdosia rubescens, Rosa rugosa, Rubus chingii, Scutellaria baicalensis, and Terminalia chebula plant extracts were previously shown to have growth(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)
Meningitis occurs when blood-borne pathogens cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in a complex interplay between endothelial cells and microbial gene products. We sought to understand the initial response of the BBB to the human meningeal pathogen group B Streptococcus (GBS) and the organism's major virulence factors, the exopolysaccharide capsule and the(More)
IL-1beta produced by phagocytes is important for protection against the mucosal pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Processing and maturation of this cytokine requires activation of the multiprotein inflammasome complex. We observed that the bacterial cell wall component peptidoglycan (PGN) must be particulate and internalized via phagocytosis to activate NLRP3(More)
Carotenoid pigments of Staphylococcus aureus provide integrity to its cell membrane (CM) and limit oxidative host defense mechanisms. However, the role of carotenoids in staphylococcal resistance to nonoxidative host defenses has not been characterized. The current study examined the relationship among CM carotenoid content, membrane order, and in vitro(More)