Jun 25, 2019

Recognition of specific sialoglycan structures by oral streptococci impacts the severity of endocardial infection

PLoS Pathogens
Barbara A BensingPaul M Sullam


Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are primary colonizers of the tooth surface. Although generally non-pathogenic in the oral environment, they are a frequent cause of infective endocarditis. Both streptococcal species express a serine-rich repeat surface adhesin that mediates attachment to sialylated glycans on mucin-like glycoproteins, but the specific sialoglycan structures recognized can vary from strain to strain. Previous studies have shown that sialoglycan binding is clearly important for aortic valve infections caused by some S. gordonii, but this process did not contribute to the virulence of a strain of S. sanguinis. However, these streptococci can bind to different subsets of sialoglycan structures. Here we generated isogenic strains of S. gordonii that differ only in the type and range of sialoglycan structures to which they adhere and examined whether this rendered them more or less virulent in a rat model of endocarditis. The findings indicate that the recognition of specific sialoglycans can either enhance or diminish pathogenicity. Binding to sialyllactosamine reduces the initial colonization of mechanically-damaged aortic valves, whereas binding to the closely-related trisaccharide sialyl T-anti...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Infective Endocarditis
IgG Fc-binding protein, Streptococcus
Arthrobacter sanguinis
Tooth Surface
Platelet Activation

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