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Charles L. Balzli, John Bartell, Joseph J. Dajcs, Clare C. McCormick, Armando R. Caballero, David Stroman, Richard J. O'Callaghan; A Highly Virulent Staphylococcus aureus: Rabbit Anterior Chamber Infection, Characterization, and Genetic Analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(10):5114-5120. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-5179.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe and characterize a Staphylococcus aureus strain with unique virulence that overcomes host defenses of the rabbit anterior chamber and mimics clinical cases of postcataract surgery endophthalmitis.
Nine isolates of S. aureus were tested to determine their viability in the rabbit anterior chamber. Growth of UMCR1 in the anterior chamber was established and expressed as log colony-forming units per milliliter of aqueous humor. Pathologic changes produced by UMCR1 were documented by photographs, slit lamp examination, histopathologic analysis, and quantification of neutrophils. UMCR1 was characterized by antibiotic susceptibility, biochemical tests, ribotyping, genome restriction mapping, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
UMCR1 was the only S. aureus strain that grew within the anterior chamber, reaching log 6.97 ± 0.18 CFU/mL by 16 hours after infection. Pathologic changes included conjunctival injection, chemosis, corneal edema, severe iritis, fibrin accumulation, and a 193-fold increase in neutrophils by 16 hours after infection. UMCR1 was only resistant to sulfamethoxazole and, like other S. aureus isolates, polymyxin B. UMCR1 also had biochemical reactions and a ribotype pattern typical of S. aureus. The genomic reconstruction analysis of UMCR1 was most similar to strains MW2 and MSSA476. MLST revealed a 1 in 3198 nucleotide difference between UMCR1 and strains MW2 and MSSA476.
This study describes a unique S. aureus strain that overcomes host defenses and replicates in the anterior chamber. The survival and growth of this organism could be used for studies of S. aureus pathogenesis, host defenses, and effectiveness of antibiotics within the anterior chamber.
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