The importance of a collagen-binding adhesin in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis has been examined by comparing the virulence of two sets of Staphylococcus aureus mutants in an animal model. Collagen adhesin-negative mutant PH100 was constructed by replacing the chromosomal collagen adhesin gene (cna) in a clinical strain, Phillips, with an inactivated copy of the gene. Collagen adhesin-positive mutant S. aureus CYL574 was generated by introducing the cna gene into CYL316, a strain that normally lacks the cna gene. Biochemical, immunological, and functional analyses of the generated mutants and their respective parent strains showed that binding of 125I- labeled collagen, expression of an immunoreactive collagen adhesin, and bacterial adherence to cartilage were directly correlated with the presence of a functional cna gene. Greater than 70% of the mice injected with the Cna+ strains developed clinical signs of arthritis, whereas less than 27% of the animals injected with Cna- strains showed symptoms of disease. Furthermore, mice injected with the Cna+ strain Phillips had remarkably elevated levels of immunoglobulin G1 and interleukin-6 compared with mice injected with the Cna- mutant PH100. Taken together, these results demonstrate that collagen adhesin plays an important role in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis induced by S. aureus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases