Bacterial colonisation of prosthetic material can lead to clinical infection or implant failure, or both, often requiring removal of the device. Adherence of to bioprosthetic materials is mediated by adhesins belonging to the MSCRAMM (microbial surface components recognising adhesive matrix molecules) family of microbial cell surface proteins. The objective of this study was to compare the virulence of a mutant strain of Newman that possesses all three fibrinogen-, fibronectin- and collagen-binding MSCRAMMs (MSCRAMM-positive strain) with that of a mutant strain that lacks all three types of MSCRAMMs (MSCRAMM-negative strain) in a rabbit model of orthopaedic device-related infection. After a hole was drilled into the knee joint of each animal, a group of 10 rabbits was inoculated with the MSCRAMM-positive strain and another group of 10 rabbits the MSCRAMM-negative strain. A stainless steel screw was then placed into the drilled hole. Two weeks later, the rabbits were killed and serum samples, bone tissue and implants were harvested for bacteriological and histopathological evaluation. No significant difference in infection rates was demonstrated between the two groups. The ability to delineate the role of surface adhesins in causing orthopaedic device-related infection could be model-dependent.


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