Impact of daptomycin resistance on Staphylococcus aureus virulence

David R. Cameron, Lawrence I. Mortin, Aileen Rubio, Eleftherios Mylonakis, Robert C. Moellering, George M. Eliopoulos, Anton Y. Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Daptomycin resistance (DAPR) in Staphylococcus aureus is associated with mutations in genes that are also implicated in staphylococcal pathogenesis. Using a laboratory-derived series of DAP exposed strains, we showed a relationship between increasing DAP MIC and reduced virulence in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Point mutations in walK and rpoC led to cumulative reductions in virulence and simultaneous increases in DAP MIC. A point mutation to mprF did not impact on S.aureus virulence; however deletion of mprF led to virulence attenuation and hyper-susceptibility to DAP. To validate our findings in G. mellonella, we confirmed the attenuated virulence of select isolates from the laboratory-derived series using a murine septicaemia model. As a corollary, we showed significant virulence reductions for clinically-derived DAPRisolates compared to their isogenic, DAP-susceptible progenitors (DAPS). Intriguingly, each clinical DAPRisolate was persistent in vivo. Taken together, it appears the genetic correlates underlying daptomycin resistance in S. aureus also alter pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Bacterial persistence
  • Galleria mellonella
  • MprF
  • S. aureus
  • Walk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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