Broadly Protective Vaccine for Staphylococcus aureus Based on an in Vivo-Expressed Antigen

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Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1523-1527
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1523

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Vaccines based on preferential expression of bacterial antigens during human infection have not been described. Staphylococcus aureus synthesized poly-N-succinyl β-1-6 glucosamine (PNSG) as a surface polysaccharide during human and animal infection, but few strains expressed PNSG in vitro. All S. aureusstrains examined carried genes for PNSG synthesis. Immunization protected mice against kidney infections and death from strains that produced little PNSG in vitro. Nonimmune infected animals made antibody to PNSG, but serial in vitro cultures of kidney isolates yielded mostly cells that did not produce PNSG. PNSG is a candidate for use in a vaccine to protect against S. aureus infection.

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