Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Analysis of prophages harbored by the human-adapted subpopulation of Staphylococcus aureus CC398

Abstract : Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 398 is a livestock-associated pathogen that poses a worldwide threat because of its ability to colonize and infect both humans and animals. We used high-resolution whole-genome microarrays, prophage profiling, immune evasion cluster characterization and whole-genome sequencing to investigate the roles of prophages in the emerging human-adapted subpopulation of CC398 that has been associated with invasive infections in humans living in animal-free environments. We characterized one phage and two prophages specifically harbored by CC398 isolates belonging to the emerging subpopulation. We introduced the phage into permissive prophage-free isolates. We investigated the effects of lysogeny on the host ability to resist further phage infection and transformation, to acquire the capacity to invade human cells, and to express virulence factors encoded by prophages. We report evidence of a defective ϕMR11-like helper prophage, named StauST398-5pro, specifically associated with the emerging non-LA CC398 subpopulation. StauST398-5pro confers substantial protection against horizontal genetic transfer to its host. It interacts with a human-associated β-converting prophage encoding immune-modulating proteins such that virulence genes are expressed during stress situations. Our findings provide insight into the role of phages in the expression of virulence and in the spread of genetic information among new host-adapted S. aureus isolates. We demonstrate that functional prophage elements can condition host specificity and confer new virulence traits on emerging intra-species clones of bacteria.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 2:55:16 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:16:31 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 11, 2013 - 5:30:07 AM



Nathalie van der Mee-Marquet, Anna-Rita Corvaglia, Anne-Sophie Valentin, David Hernandez, Xavier Bertrand, et al.. Analysis of prophages harbored by the human-adapted subpopulation of Staphylococcus aureus CC398. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Elsevier, 2013, 18, pp.299-308. ⟨10.1016/j.meegid.2013.06.009⟩. ⟨hal-00843111⟩



Record views


Files downloads