Phagocytic acitivity of bovine leukocytes during pregnancy. (1/12137)

The phagocytic competence, measured as the total number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes per mm3 which phagocytosed Staphylococcus aureus, strain 321, in vitro, was determined in eight cows during complete pregnancies. Such leukocytes are referred to as "Active PMN'S". There was a gradual decline in the number of these cells from conception to a minimum between the 16th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, followed by a steady increase to the cessation of lactation when a marked drop occurred, after which there was an increase to a maximun during the second week prepartum. From this maximum there was a rapid decrease to an absolute minimum during the first week after parturition. From the second week postpartum there was a gradual increase to conception. The correlation coefficient (r) of number of active PMN'S with time before conception was -0.474 )p-0.01). There were significant differences (p=0.01) in numbers of active PMNS Among the eight cows. It was found that the cows fell into two groups, one whose members had, overall, significantly more active PMNs (p=0.001) than those in the second group. The between cow differences may have been due to 1) age, since the cows with the highest numbers of circulating active PMNs were younger than those in the other group of 2) the combined stress of pregnancy and lactation, as those cows which were both pregnant and milking had the lowest numbers of active PMNs.  (+info)

UK-18892, a new aminoglycoside: an in vitro study. (2/12137)

UK-18892 is a new aminoglycoside antibiotic, a derivative of kanamycin A structurally related to amikacin. It was found to be active against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, including many gentamicin-resistant strains. The spectrum and degree of activity of UK-18892 were similar to those of amikacin, and differences were relatively minor. UK-18892 was about twice as active as amikacin against gentamicin-susceptible strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both amikacin and UK-18892 were equally active against gentamicin-resistant strains of P. aeruginosa. There were no appreciable differences in the activity of UK-18892 and amikacin against Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus aureus. Cross-resistance between these two antimicrobials was also apparent.  (+info)

Automated food microbiology: potential for the hydrophobic grid-membrane filter. (3/12137)

Bacterial counts obtained on hydrophobic grid-membrane filters were comparable to conventional plate counts for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus in homogenates from a range of foods. The wide numerical operating range of the hydrophobic grid-membrane filters allowed sequential diluting to be reduced or even eliminated, making them attractive as components in automated systems of analysis. Food debris could be rinsed completely from the unincubated hydrophobic grid-membrane filter surface without affecting the subsequent count, thus eliminating the possibility of counting food particles, a common source of error in electronic counting systems.  (+info)

The amino acid sequence of Neurospora NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase. Peptides from digestion with a staphylococcal proteinase. (4/12137)

The extracellular proteinase of Staphylococcus aureus strain V8 was used to digest the NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase of Neurospora crassa. Of 35 non-overlapping peptides expected from the glutamate content of the polypeptide chain, 29 were isolated and substantially sequenced. The sequences obtained were valuable in providing overlaps for the alignment of about two-thirds of the sequences found in tryptic peptides [Wootton, J. C., Taylor, J, G., Jackson, A. A., Chambers, G. K. & Fincham, J. R. S. (1975) Biochem. J. 149, 739-748]. The blocked N-terminal peptide of the protein was isolated. This peptide was sequenced by mass spectrometry, and found to have N-terminal N-acetylserine by Howard R. Morris and Anne Dell, whose results are presented as an Appendix to the main paper. The staphylococcal proteinase showed very high specificity for glutamyl bonds in the NH4HCO3 buffer used. Partial splits of two aspartyl bonds, both Asp-Ile, were probably attributable to the proteinase. No cleavage of glutaminyl or S-carboxymethylcysteinyl bonds was found. Additional experimental detail has been deposited as Supplementary Publication SUP 50053 (5 pages) with the British Library (Lending Division), Boston Spa, Wetherby, W. Yorkshire LS23 7BQ, U.K, from whom copies may be obtained under the terms given in Biochem. J. (1975) 1458 5.  (+info)

Emergence of vancomycin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Glycopeptide-Intermediate Staphylococcus aureus Working Group. (5/12137)

BACKGROUND: Since the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the glycopeptide vancomycin has been the only uniformly effective treatment for staphylococcal infections. In 1997, two infections due to S. aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin were identified in the United States. METHODS: We investigated the two patients with infections due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides, as defined by a minimal inhibitory concentration of vancomycin of 8 to 16 microg per milliliter. To assess the carriage and transmission of these strains of S. aureus, we cultured samples from the patients and their contacts and evaluated the isolates. RESULTS: The first patient was a 59-year-old man in Michigan with diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure. Peritonitis due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides developed after 18 weeks of vancomycin treatment for recurrent methicillin-resistant S. aureus peritonitis associated with dialysis. The removal of the peritoneal catheter plus treatment with rifampin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole eradicated the infection. The second patient was a 66-year-old man with diabetes in New Jersey. A bloodstream infection due to S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides developed after 18 weeks of vancomycin treatment for recurrent methicillin-resistant S. aureus bacteremia. This infection was eradicated with vancomycin, gentamicin, and rifampin. Both patients died. The glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus isolates differed by two bands on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. On electron microscopy, the isolates from the infected patients had thicker extracellular matrixes than control methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates. No carriage was documented among 177 contacts of the two patients. CONCLUSIONS: The emergence of S. aureus with intermediate resistance to glycopeptides emphasizes the importance of the prudent use of antibiotics, the laboratory capacity to identify resistant strains, and the use of infection-control precautions to prevent transmission.  (+info)

Alpha-toxin and gamma-toxin jointly promote Staphylococcus aureus virulence in murine septic arthritis. (6/12137)

Septic arthritis is a common and feared complication of staphylococcal infections. Staphylococcus aureus produces a number of potential virulence factors including certain adhesins and enterotoxins. In this study we have assessed the roles of cytolytic toxins in the development of septic arthritis by inoculating mice with S. aureus wild-type strain 8325-4 or isogenic mutants differing in the expression of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-toxin production patterns. Mice inoculated with either an alpha- or beta-toxin mutant showed degrees of inflammation, joint damage, and weight decrease similar to wild-type-inoculated mice. In contrast, mice inoculated with either double (alpha- and gamma-toxin-deficient)- or triple (alpha-, beta-, and gamma-toxin-deficient)-mutant S. aureus strains showed lower frequency and severity of arthritis, measured both clinically and histologically, than mice inoculated with the wild-type strain. We conclude that simultaneous production of alpha- and gamma-toxin is a virulence factor in S. aureus arthritis.  (+info)

Role of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase cascade in human neutrophil killing of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans and in migration. (7/12137)

Killing of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans by neutrophils involves adherence of the microorganisms, phagocytosis, and a collaborative action of oxygen reactive species and components of the granules. While a number of intracellular signalling pathways have been proposed to regulate neutrophil responses, the extent to which each pathway contributes to the killing of S. aureus and C. albicans has not been clearly defined. We have therefore examined the effect of blocking one such pathway, the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) cascade, using the specific inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase, PD98059, on the ability of human neutrophils to kill S. aureus and C. albicans. Our data demonstrate the presence of ERK2 and a 43-kDa form of ERK but not ERK1 in human neutrophils. Upon stimulation with formyl methionyl leucyl phenylalanine (fMLP), the activities of both ERK2 and the 43-kDa form were stimulated. Despite abrogating the activity of both ERK forms, PD98059 only slightly reduced the ability of neutrophils to kill S. aureus or C. albicans. This is consistent with our finding that PD98059 had no effect on neutrophil adherence or degranulation, although pretreatment of neutrophils with PD98059 inhibited fMLP-stimulated superoxide production by 50%, suggesting that a change in superoxide production per se is not strictly correlated with microbicidal activity. However, fMLP-stimulated chemokinesis was markedly inhibited, while random migration and fMLP-stimulated chemotaxis were partially inhibited, by PD98059. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that the ERK cascade plays only a minor role in the microbicidal activity of neutrophils and that the ERK cascade is involved primarily in regulating neutrophil migration in response to fMLP.  (+info)

Hyperproduction of alpha-hemolysin in a sigB mutant is associated with elevated SarA expression in Staphylococcus aureus. (8/12137)

To evaluate the role of SigB in modulating the expression of virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus, we constructed a sigB mutant of RN6390, a prototypic S. aureus strain. The mutation in the sigB gene was confirmed by the absence of the SigB protein in the mutant on an immunoblot as well as the failure of the mutant to activate sigmaB-dependent promoters (e.g., the sarC promoter) of S. aureus. Phenotypic analysis indicated that both alpha-hemolysin level and fibrinogen-binding capacity were up-regulated in the mutant strain compared with the parental strain. The increase in fibrinogen-binding capacity correlated with enhanced expression of clumping factor and coagulase on immunoblots. The effect of the sigB mutation on the enhanced expression of the alpha-hemolysin gene (hla) was primarily transcriptional. Upon complementation with a plasmid containing the sigB gene, hla expression returned to near parental levels in the mutant. Detailed immunoblot analysis as well as a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the cell extract of the sigB mutant with anti-SarA monoclonal antibody 1D1 revealed that the expression of SarA was higher in the mutant than in the parental control. Despite an elevated SarA level, the transcription of RNAII and RNAIII of the agr locus remained unaltered in the sigB mutant. Because of a lack of perturbation in agr, we hypothesize that inactivation of sigB leads to increased expression of SarA which, in turn, modulates target genes via an agr-independent but SarA-dependent pathway.  (+info)