Ceftaroline is active against heteroresistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clinical strains despite associated mutational mechanisms and intermediate levels of resistance

Regina Fernandez, Liliana I. Paz, Roberto R. Rosato, Adriana E. Rosato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important infectious human pathogen responsible for diseases ranging from skin and soft tissue infections to life-threatening endocarditis, ß-Lactam resistance in MRSA involves acquisition of penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a), a protein with low affinity for ß-lactams that mediates cell wall assembly when the normal staphylococcal PBPs (PBP1 to -4) are blocked by these agents. Many MRSA strains display heterogeneous expression of resistance (HeR) against ß-lactam antibiotics. The ß-lactam-mediated homoresistant (HoR) phenotype is associated with both expression of the mecA gene and activation of the LexA-RecA-mediated SOS response, a regulatory network induced in response to DNA damage. Ceftaroline (CPT) is the only FDA-approved cephalosporin targeting PBP2a. We investigated the mechanistic basis of CPT activity against HeR-MRSA strains, including a set of strains displaying an intermediate level of resistance to CPT. Mechanistically, we found that 1 exposure of HeR-MRSA to subinhibitory concentrations of CPT selected for the HoR derivative activated the SOS response and increased mutagenesis. Importantly, CPT-selected HoR cells remained susceptible to CPT while still being resistant to most ß-lactams, and 2-CPT activity in HeR-MRSA resided in an attenuated induction of mecA expression in comparison to other ß-lactams. In addition, 3-CPT intermediate-resistant strains displayed a significant increase in CPT-induced mecA expression accompanied by mutations in PBP2, which together may interfere with the complete repression by CPT of both PBP2a and PBP2a-PBP2 interactions and thus be a determining factor in the low level of CPT resistance in the absence of mecA gene mutations. The present study provides mechanistic evidence that CPT represents an alternative therapeutic option for the treatment of heteroresistant MRSA strains.Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5736-5746
Number of pages11
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume58
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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