Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a major bacterial pathogen responsible for both local and systemic infections in humans. The molecular mechanisms that contribute to disease heterogeneity remain poorly understood. Here we show that the transition from a local to a systemic GAS infection is paralleled by pathogen-driven alterations in IgG homeostasis. Using animal models and a combination of sensitive proteomics and glycoproteomics readouts, we documented the progressive accumulation of IgG cleavage products in plasma, due to extensive enzymatic degradation triggered by GAS infection in vivo. The level of IgG degradation was modulated by the route of pathogen inoculation, and mechanistically linked to the combined activities of the bacterial protease IdeS and the endoglycosidase EndoS, upregulated during infection. Importantly, we show that these virulence factors can alter the structure and function of exogenous therapeutic IgG in vivo. These results shed light on the role of bacterial virulence factors in shaping GAS pathogenesis, and potentially blunting the efficacy of antimicrobial therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6693
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 23

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine


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