1887

Abstract

Understanding the role specific bacterial factors play in the development of severe disease in humans is critical if new approaches to tackle such infections are to be developed. In this study we focus on genes we have found to be associated with patient outcome following bacteraemia caused by the major human pathogen . By examining the contribution these genes make to the ability of the bacteria to survive exposure to the antibacterial factors found in serum, we identify three novel serum resistance-associated genes, , and . Detailed analysis of an MpsB mutant supports its previous association with the slow growing small colony variant (SCV) phenotype of , and we demonstrate that the effect this mutation has on membrane potential prevents the activation of the Agr quorum sensing system, and as a consequence the mutant bacteria do not produce cytolytic toxins. Given the importance of both toxin production and immune evasion for the ability of to cause disease, we believe that these findings explain the role of the gene as a mortality-associated locus during human disease.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    • Principle Award Recipient: RuthC Massey
  • Wellcome Trust (Award 212258/Z/18/Z)
    • Principle Award Recipient: RuthC Massey
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This article was made open access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding author’s institution.
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2021-10-07
2021-10-25
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