Determination of Ventronectin Binding Sites in Non-Catheter and Catheter-Infection Associated Strains of Staphylococcus Epidermis
Wester, Faith M.
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Catheter infections are caused by polymicrobial colonies of coagulase-negative staphylococci with Staphylococcus epidermis representing the primary bacteria involved. Staphylococcus epidermis is a part of the normal skin flora, but upon association with indwelling catheters, its ability to cause . infection increases dramatically. Vitronectin, a protein which has been found to coat catheters, may be the link between Staphylococcus and catheter infections. Although the complete molecular structure of vitronectin is not known, it has been determined that mannose is one component. It is hypothesized that Staphylococcus epidermis has binding sites for mannose which acts as a "bridge" connecting the two molecules. If true, then mannitol, an alcohol derivative of mannose, may inhibit Staphylococcal binding to vitronectin by competition. These experiments were designed to determine whether Staphylococcus epidermis associated with catheter infection have more binding sites for vitronectin than noncatheter associated isolates. Mannitol binding inhibition was also studied. This was accomplished utilizing modified ELISA, SDS-PAGE, Western Blot, and Heparin Affinity Chromatography. It was discovered that catheter infection associated Staphylococcus bound 43% more vitronectin than did non-catheter infection related Staphylococcus. Mannitol inhibited binding of the bacteria to vitronectin by 28%.