Staphylococcus aureus carriers with S. aureus bacteremia may have a reduced mortality risk compared to non-carriers. A role for the immune system is suggested. Here, we study in mice the effect of mild S. aureus skin infection prior to endogenous or exogenous S. aureus bacteremia, and evaluate protection in relation to anti-staphylococcal antibody levels. Skin infections once or twice by a clinical S. aureus isolate (isolate P) or S. aureus strain 8325-4 were induced in mice free of S. aureus and anti-staphylococcal antibodies. Five weeks later, immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in blood against 25 S. aureus antigens were determined, and LD50 or LD100 bacteremia caused by S. aureus isolate P was induced. S. aureus skin infections led to elevated levels of anti-staphylococcal IgG in blood. One skin infection improved the course of subsequent severe endogenous bacteremia only. A second skin infection further improved animal survival rate, which was associated with increased pre-bacteremia IgG levels against Efb, IsaA, LukD, LukE, Nuc, PrsA and WTA. In conclusion, S. aureus isolate P skin infection in mice reduces the severity of subsequent endogenous S. aureus bacteremia only. Although cellular immune effects cannot be rules out, anti-staphylococcal IgG against specified antigens may contribute to this effect.
bioMérieux provided support for this work
in the form of salaries for author Alex van Belkum, but
did not have any additional role in the study design,
data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or
preparation of the manuscript. The specific role of this
author is articulated in the ‘author contributions’
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