Suzan H. M. Rooijakkers

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Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a leading cause of infection-related mortality in humans. All GAS serotypes express the Lancefield group A carbohydrate (GAC), comprising a polyrhamnose backbone with an immunodominant N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) side chain, which is the basis of rapid diagnostic tests. No biological function has been attributed to this(More)
The CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) on neutrophils, which recognizes chemokines produced at the site of infection, plays an important role in antimicrobial host defenses such as neutrophil activation and chemotaxis. Staphylococcus aureus is a successful human pathogen secreting a number of proteolytic enzymes, but their influence on the host immune system(More)
Streptococcal inhibitor of complement (SIC) is a highly polymorphic extracellular protein and putative virulence factor secreted by M1 and M57 strains of group A Streptococcus (GAS). The sic gene is highly upregulated in invasive M1T1 GAS isolates following selection of mutations in the covR/S regulatory locus in vivo. Previous work has shown that SIC(More)
Activation of the complement system generates potent chemoattractants and opsonizes cells for immune clearance. Short-lived protease complexes cleave complement component C3 into anaphylatoxin C3a and opsonin C3b. Here we report the crystal structure of the C3 convertase formed by C3b and the protease fragment Bb, which was stabilized by the bacterial(More)
Upon contact with human plasma, bacteria are rapidly recognized by the complement system that labels their surface for uptake and clearance by phagocytic cells. Staphylococcus aureus secretes the 16 kD Extracellular fibrinogen binding protein (Efb) that binds two different plasma proteins using separate domains: the Efb N-terminus binds to fibrinogen, while(More)
Group A Streptococcus is a leading human pathogen associated with a diverse array of mucosal and systemic infections. Cell wall anchored pili were recently described in several species of pathogenic streptococci, and in the case of GAS, these surface appendages were demonstrated to facilitate epithelial cell adherence. Here we use targeted mutagenesis to(More)
BACKGROUND Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SaB) carries considerable morbidity and mortality. We examined the predictive value of serum concentrations of interleukin (IL)-10, proinflammatory cytokines, and terminal complement on patient survival and SaB duration. METHODS Clinical information on consecutive patients with SaB at a tertiary medical center(More)
The plasma proteins of the complement system are essential in the innate immune response against bacteria. Complement labels bacteria with opsonins to support phagocytosis and generates chemoattractants to attract phagocytes to the site of infection. In turn, bacterial human pathogens have evolved different strategies to specifically impair the complement(More)
Staphylococcus aureus is a leading human pathogen that causes a large variety of diseases. In vitro studies have shown that S. aureus secretes several small proteins that block specific elements of the host innate immune system, but their role in bacterial pathogenicity is unknown. For instance, the extracellular complement-binding protein (Ecb) impairs(More)
The innate immune system in humans consists of both cellular and humoral components that collaborate to eradicate invading bacteria from the body. Here, we discover that the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, does not grow in human serum. Fractionation of serum by gel filtration chromatography led to the(More)