Biomedicines, Vol. 10, Pages 35: VraSR Regulatory System Contributes to the Virulence of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in a 3D-Skin Model and Skin Infection of Humanized Mouse Model

Biomedicines doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10010035


The vancomycin-resistance associated sensor/regulator, VraSR two-component regulatory-system (VraSR), regulates virulence and the response of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) to environmental stress. To investigate the role of VraSR in SA skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), we inactivated the VraSR of a clinical CA-MRSA ST30 strain by insertional mutation in vraR gene using the TargeTron-Gene Knockout System. We constructed an organotypic keratinocyte fibroblast co-culture (3D-skin model) and a humanized mouse as SSTI infection models. In the 3D-skin model, inactivation of VraSR in the strains ST30 and USA300 showed 1-log reduction in adhesion and internalization (p < 0.001) compared to the respective wildtype. The mutant strains of ST30 (p < 0.05) and USA300-LAC (p < 0.001) also exhibited reduced apoptosis. The wildtype ST30 infection in the humanized mouse model demonstrated increased skin lesion size and bacterial burden compared to BALB/c mice (p < 0.01). The response of the humanized mouse towards the MRSA infection exhibited human similarity indicating that the humanized mouse SSTI model is more suitable for evaluating the role of virulence determinants. Inactivation of VraSR in ST30 strain resulted in decreased skin lesion size in the humanized mouse SSTI model (p < 0.05) and reduction in apoptotic index (p < 0.01) when compared with the wildtype. Our results reveal that inactivating the VraSR system may be a potent anti-virulence approach to control MRSA infection.

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By Barua