High vancomycin MICs within the susceptible range in Staphylococcus aureus bacteriemia isolates are associated with increased cell wall thickness and reduced intracellular killing by human phagocytes

Abstract
Vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) at the upper end of the susceptible range for Staphylococcus aureus have been associated with poor clinical outcomes of bloodstream infections. We tested the hypothesis that high vancomycin MICs in S. aureus bacteraemia isolates are associated with increased cell wall thickness and suboptimal bacterial internalisation or lysis by human phagocytes. Intotal, 95 isolates were evaluated. Original vancomycin MICs were determined by Etest. The susceptibility of S. aureus isolates to killing by phagocytes was assessed in a human whole blood assay. Internalisation of bacterial cells by phagocytes was investigated by flow cytometry. Cell wall thickness was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. Genotypic analysis of S. aureus isolates was performed using a DNA microarray system. Vancomycin MICs were significantly higher (P = 0.006) in isolates that were killed suboptimally (killing index <60%) compared with those killed efficiently (killing index >70%) and tended to correlate inversely (P = 0.08) with the killing indices. Isolates in both killing groups were internalised by human neutrophils and monocytes with comparable efficiency. The cell wall was significantly thicker(P = 0.03) in isolates in the low killing group. No genotypic differences were found between the isolates in both killing groups. In summary, high vancomycin MICs in S. aureus bacteraemia isolates were associated with increased cell wall thickness and reduced intracellular killing by phagocytes.
Description
Bibliographic reference
Falcón, R., Martínez, A., Albert, E., Madrid, S., Oltra, R., Giménez, E., Soriano, M., Vinuesa, V., Gozalbo, D., Gil, M. L., & Navarro, D. (2016). High vancomycin MICs within the susceptible range in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia isolates are associated with increased cell wall thickness and reduced intracellular killing by human phagocytes. En International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (Vol. 47, Issue 5, pp. 343-350). Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2016.01.014