Superantigen profiling of Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis isolates

Jin Won Chung, Melissa J. Karau, Kerryl E. Greenwood-Quaintance, Alessandro D. Ballard, Ashenafi Tilahun, Shahryar Rostamkolaei Khaleghi, Chella S. David, Robin Patel, Govindarajan Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The frequency of superantigen production among Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with endocarditis is not well defined. We tested 154 S. aureus isolates from definite infective endocarditis cases for the presence of staphylococcal enterotoxins A-E, H, and TSST-1 by PCR, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and using an HLA-DR3 transgenic mouse splenocyte proliferation assay. Sixty-three isolates (50.8%) tested positive for at least 1 superantigen gene, with 21 (16.9%) testing positive for more than 2. tst (28.6%) was most common, followed by seb (27%), sea (22.2%), sed (20.6%), see (17.5%), and sec (11.1%). Of 41 methicillin-resistant S. aureus, 21 had superantigen genes, with sed being more frequently detected in this group compared to methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (P < 0.05). Superantigen genes were not associated with mortality (P = 0.81). 75% of PCR-positive isolates induced robust splenocyte proliferation. Overall, more than half of S. aureus isolates causing endocarditis carry superantigen genes, of which most are functional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Infective endocarditis
  • S. aureus
  • Superantigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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