Streptococcus pneumoniae Modulates Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Dispersion and the Transition from Colonization to Invasive Disease.
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Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus are ubiquitous upper respiratory opportunistic pathogens. Individually, these Gram-positive microbes are two of the most common causative agents of secondary bacterial pneumonia following influenza A virus infection, and they constitute a significant source of morbidity and mortality. Since the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, rates of cocolonization with both of these bacterial species have increased, despite the traditional view that they are antagonistic and mutually exclusive. The interactions between S. pneumoniae and S. aureus in the context of colonization and the transition to invasive disease have not been characterized. In this report, we show that S. pneumoniae and S. aureus form stable dual-species biofilms on epithelial cells in vitro When these biofilms are exposed to physiological changes associated with viral infection, S. pneumoniae disperses from the biofilm, whereas S. aureus dispersal is inhibited. These findings were supported by results of an in vivo study in which we used a novel mouse cocolonization model. In these experiments, mice cocolonized in the nares with both bacterial species were subsequently infected with influenza A virus. The coinfected mice almost exclusively developed pneumococcal pneumonia. These results indicate that despite our previous report that S. aureus disseminates into the lungs of mice stably colonized with these bacteria following influenza A virus infection, cocolonization with S. pneumoniae in vitro and in vivo inhibits S. aureus dispersal and transition to disease. This study provides novel insight into both the interactions between S. pneumoniae and S. aureus during carriage and the transition from colonization to secondary bacterial pneumonia.IMPORTANCE In this study, we demonstrate that Streptococcus pneumoniae can modulate the pathogenic potential of Staphylococcus aureus in a model of secondary bacterial pneumonia. We report that host physiological signals related to viral infection cease to elicit a dispersal response from S. aureus while in a dual-species setting with S. pneumoniae, in direct contrast to results of previous studies with each species individually. This study underscores the importance of studying polymicrobial communities and their implications in disease states.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Jan 9|