In catheter infections by Staphylococcus epidermidis the intercellular adhesion (ica) locus is a molecular marker of the virulent slime-producing strains

C. R. Arciola, L. Baldassarri, L. Montanaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently, it has been shown that S. epidermidis includes the ica operon responsible for slime production. In the operon, coexpression of icaA and icaD genes is required for full slime synthesis. In this study, the presence of icaA and icaD genes was searched for in a collection of 100 Staphylococcus epidermidis strains from catheter-associated infections by an original PCR method. Another 51 strains of S. epidermidis isolated from the skin or mucosa of healthy volunteers (26 of which derived from the hospital staff) were also investigated. Slime-forming ability was phenotypically tested on Congo red agar plates. Sixty-one percent of the strains isolated from catheters were icaA- icaD-positive and produced slime. The results indicate that detection of ica genes by a PCR method is a useful tool for prompt identification of S. epidermidis slime-forming strains isolated from catheter-related infections. Also, three saprophytic strains from the hospital staff were positive for slime synthesis and presence of ica genes, suggesting a potential diffusion of slime-forming strains in hospital personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-562
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2002

Keywords

  • Catheter infection
  • Ica locus
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Slime
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials

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