Next Article in Journal
Peanut Sprout Extracts Attenuate Triglyceride Accumulation by Promoting Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Oxidation in Adipocytes
Next Article in Special Issue
Catching a SPY: Using the SpyCatcher-SpyTag and Related Systems for Labeling and Localizing Bacterial Proteins
Previous Article in Journal
Secondary Bile Acids and Short Chain Fatty Acids in the Colon: A Focus on Colonic Microbiome, Cell Proliferation, Inflammation, and Cancer
Previous Article in Special Issue
Relation of the pdxB-usg-truA-dedA Operon and the truA Gene to the Intracellular Survival of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Pathogenomics

Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpitaux Universitaires, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Université de Strasbourg, CHRU Strasbourg, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, EA 7290, Virulence Bactérienne Précoce, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(5), 1215;
Submission received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Virulence Factors)


Coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CoNS) are skin commensal bacteria. Besides their role in maintaining homeostasis, CoNS have emerged as major pathogens in nosocomial settings. Several studies have investigated the molecular basis for this emergence and identified multiple putative virulence factors with regards to Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity. In the last decade, numerous CoNS whole-genome sequences have been released, leading to the identification of numerous putative virulence factors. Koch’s postulates and the molecular rendition of these postulates, established by Stanley Falkow in 1988, do not explain the microbial pathogenicity of CoNS. However, whole-genome sequence data has shed new light on CoNS pathogenicity. In this review, we analyzed the contribution of genomics in defining CoNS virulence, focusing on the most frequent and pathogenic CoNS species: S. epidermidis, S. haemolyticus, S. saprophyticus, S. capitis, and S. lugdunensis.

1. Introduction

Bacterial virulence is a complex concept that must be considered from the clinical, molecular, and genomic perspectives. Clinically, the virulence of a pathogen, of a specific species or even of a clonal strain, can refer to its inherent capacity to provoke specific clinical manifestations that can be linked to the production of a virulence factor, often a protein. Microbiologically, Robert Koch postulates illustrated bacterial virulence, which Stanley Falkow redefined in the late 1980s to provide a molecular version of it [1]. Molecularly, the virulence factor is found in the pathogenic strains of a species and not in non-pathogenic ones. Secondly, the inactivation of the encoding gene in an animal model should attenuate the virulence of the strain. Thirdly, the reintroduction/reactivation of the gene should restore virulence. Nevertheless, in the past 20 years, neither Koch’s nor Falkow’s hypotheses have been able to completely define virulence factors. The development of rapid and cost-effective genome sequencing technologies has provided the opportunity, among others, to discover a wide range of genes that could be linked to bacterial pathogenicity. This ability to determine the pathogenic capacities of a bacterium from its genome is known as pathogenomics [2]. Virulence factor databases allow for fast and easy identification of putative virulence factors in whole-genome sequence data based only on sequence homologies. The Virulence Factor Database was released in 2005 and is an example of a regularly-updated database, of which a fourth version was released in 2018 [3]. Other updated databases exist, such as PHI-base and Victors [4,5]. Thus, some virulence factors retain the definition of Stanley Falkow, with a direct causative link with bacterial pathogenicity and some possible clinical manifestations. Conversely, some other factors, such as those that are produced by human commensal bacteria, do not act as virulence factors under normal conditions, but these factors will take part in bacterial pathogenicity under specific conditions, such as during cutaneous barrier breach. Staphylococci are examples of such dual characterizations of virulence factors.
Staphylococci comprise Staphylococcus aureus, which is a human commensal bacterium that colonizes nearly 30% of the human skin and mucosae, and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS), which include species such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, which colonizes nearly all human skin [6]. S. aureus is usually considered separately from CoNS and as a virulent species. Indeed, it produces a wide range of toxins which can act as virulence factors leading to specific clinical manifestations with a direct causative link. For example, the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (LukSF-PV) is a bicomponent toxin that may lead to necrotizing pneumonia [7]. S. aureus produces other toxins such as epidermolysins (ETA-B-D) and superantigens, e.g., toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST-1), that lead to specific clinical diseases and turn some particular strains into pathogens that fully meet the Koch and Falkow postulates [8,9]. S. aureus might also produce numerous adhesion factors, capsule, and biofilm-associated proteins, hemolysins, and immune evasion proteins whose main purpose is to persist on human skin as a commensal and probably beneficial bacterium [10]. Many of those proteins are cell wall-anchored and comprise a group of covalently-attached proteins with specific motifs that bind to the extracellular matrix and are usually identified as microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMMs) [11]. Many other proteins are cell-wall-attached but display distinct functions such as iron-regulated surface proteins, and some genes encode for putative MSCRAMMs but without any molecular and structural confirmation, and can be identified more generally as surface adhesins, a terminology used in this review. Those adhesion factors play a crucial role in the pathogenicity of S. aureus. The occurrence of a cutaneous barrier breach will allow its penetration in a new environment, where those factors will behave as real virulence factors, allowing its adherence, persistence, and multiplication in a normally sterile environment. Whole-genome sequence analysis of S. aureus has revealed the existence of a very large repertoire of such toxins, adhesion molecules, and biofilm-associated genes, sometimes without any molecular confirmation but based on sequence homologies that lead to the characterization of S. aureus as a major pathogenic species [12].
CoNS are often considered as simple commensal bacteria due to their rarity in clinical pathology and the absence of virulence factors like those produced by S. aureus. However, the emergence of nosocomial infections with CoNS has led clinicians and researchers to reconsider the status of these bacteria [13]. The publication of several CoNS genomes has been an essential tool to better understand CoNS pathogenicity. The identification of virulence factors, such as toxins with clinical impacts, remains exceptional or even controversial, and it appears that CoNS have a very large repertoire of genes that encode for adhesion factors, biofilm production, hemolysins, exoenzymes, and superantigens. Most CoNS also have similar regulatory systems to S. aureus, e.g., the agr system, for which homologs have been identified in numerous CoNS species [13]. The cutaneous barrier breach is a critical step to turning the CoNS species into pathogens, turning factors that are mainly implicated in the bacterial life cycle on the skin into virulence factors leading to pathological manifestations. In this situation, once again, the concept of virulence factors does not apply to the definitions provided by Robert Koch and Stanley Falkow. Considering the great species diversity of CoNS, S. epidermidis is the most frequent CoNS implicated in clinical diseases, and it remains the best-studied species at a molecular and genomic level [14]. Nevertheless, none of the virulence factors that were discovered could clearly categorized a specific strain as pathogenic or commensal, even if the strains belonging to the clonal type ST2 have been over-represented in the specific context of S. epidermidis neonatal sepsis [15]. ST2 clonal type always bears the insertion sequence IS256 and ica genes, which are implicated in biofilm production, but the direct correlation of those loci with S. epidermidis invasiveness has never been confirmed [16]. Some other species also came up as significant pathogens, such as S. lugdunensis that has been widely investigated due to the severity and the specificity of clinical manifestations of infection due to this species [17]. S. haemolyticus, S. saprophyticus, and S. capitis are three other species for which the rate and the type of infection led to molecular and genomic investigations in the search of virulence factors [18,19]. S. caprae is a CoNS that usually belongs to the animal skin flora, but it can also colonize human skin. This CoNS has been described in veterinary infections (mastitis principally) and in human osteoarticular infections. Interestingly, this CoNS belongs to a group of CoNS that is comprised of S. epidermidis, S. capitis, and S. saccharolyticus [13,20,21,22].
The identification of virulence factors in staphylococci has resulted in the identification of mobile genetic elements. Indeed, the majority of S. aureus virulence genes are located on mobile genetic elements such as pathogenicity islands, plasmids, and phages, which represent up to 25% of the S. aureus genome and play crucial roles in host adaptation and the modulation of virulence [23,24,25]. Several bioinformatic tools have been developed to identify such genomic regions based on comparative genomics [26,27,28]. Thus, the identification of putative virulence factors can be driven by the identification of these genomic elements, but it has appeared that the presence of such mobile genetic elements is very common in CoNS, but that they do not bear any virulence factors which are similar to S. aureus. More generally, this large repertoire of mobile genetic elements in staphylococci species explains why, despite a limited core genome, those species usually displayed an open pan genome with a very high number of existing genes, sometimes shared by a very limited number of clones [29,30,31]. Worthy of note is the fact that S. lugdunensis has a closed pan genome which contains several barriers to horizontal gene transfers, which could explain this unique genomic characteristic amongst CoNS [32].
In this review, we aimed to describe the occurrence of virulence factors, or more accurately, of pathogenicity factors, based on whole-genome sequence data. We focused this systematic review on the major CoNS pathogens for which such data have been published: S. epidermidis, S. lugdunensis, S. saprophyticus, S. haemolyticus, S. caprae, and S. capitis. A comprehensive review of all CoNS pathogenicity factors has been described elsewhere and is covered in references [13,33,34,35,36,37,38,39].

2. Research Method and Results

This systematic review was based on PubMed published articles in the English language. We used the following MeSH terms: “Virulence”, “Virulence factors”, “Pathogenicity”, “Whole genome sequencing”, and “Genomics”. In particular, we searched for the following species: “Staphylococcus epidermidis”, “Staphylococcus lugdunensis”, “Staphylococcus capitis”, “Staphylococcus caprae”, “Staphylococcus haemolyticus”, and “Staphylococcus saprophyticus”. We excluded studies that were not based on whole-genome data, and those for which genome sequences were not deposited in public databases (e.g., GenBank, European Nucleotide Archive).
We identified eight studies for S. epidermidis [29,30,40,41,42,43,44,45], four for S. capitis [46,47,48,49], three for S. lugdunensis [32,50,51], two for S. haemolyticus [52,53], and one for S. caprae [54] and S. saprophyticus [55].

2.1. Staphylococcus epidermidis

S. epidermidis is by far the most prevalent CoNS in microbiological samples and the primary cause of CoNS-related infections, particularly in nosocomial settings [56]. This species has been widely studied at a molecular level and has provided the largest amount of data regarding the presence of virulence factors that might be identified as pathogenicity factors [16]. Biofilm formation is the main path by which S. epidermidis colonizes and infects prosthetic and medical devices as reviewed by Otto et al. [57]. The biofilm life cycle is a complex process which implicates MSCRAMMs, the proliferation of the exopolysaccharide matrix, and finally, biofilm dispersion, mostly due to phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) peptides [57].
Nearly 500 genomes have been made available on GenBank, mainly draft genomes, but also 12 complete genomes. S. epidermidis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are detailed in Table 1. In 2003, Zhang et al. provided the first genome-based analysis of S. epidermidis virulence [40]. The authors provided the first sequence of the reference strain ATCC 12228, a non-biofilm forming, non-infection associated strain, and they found several putative pathogenicity factors, including multiple MSCRAMMs encoding genes and putative exoenzymes and toxins such as metalloproteases and Delta/Beta-hemolysins. Interestingly, a revised version of this genome was released in 2017 which was determined using PacBio (PacBio, Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA) long read sequencing; it provided a slightly different genome from the one released by Zhang et al., and established a new reference genome for comparative genomic studies [58]. In 2005, Gill et al. published a new complete genome from S. epidermidis strain RP62a and performed comparative genomic analyses with four S. aureus genomes, and included the genome from S. epidermidis ATCC 12228 [41]. As expected, the authors found multiple virulence factors in the S. aureus genome. Nearly one-half of those factors were carried by seven pathogenicity islands that were not found on S. epidermidis. Nevertheless, some other mobile genetic elements were identified in this species (one genomic island and two integrated plasmids), some bearing PSM and putative MSCRAMMs. Some other mobile genetic elements were found in S. epidermidis genomes such as prophages, insertion sequences, and SSCmec-like cassettes. The authors also identified several other putative virulence factors such as proteases (serine and cysteine protease), lipases, and hemolysins (Beta/Delta haemolysin) loci. The presence of mobile genetic elements and virulence factors led the authors to consider that horizontal gene transfer between staphylococci had to be considered as a source of variability and, in this case, as a cause of their pathogenicity.
Conlan et al. provided in 2012 the first large comparative genomic analysis of 30 S. epidermidis whole genomes, showing that S. epidermidis had an open pan genome, as expected, but more interestingly, that whole-genome-based phylogenetic trees could distinguish between commensal and pathogenic strains. The presence of the formate dehydrogenase gene (fdh) could explain this observation [42]. Meric et al. found in a second study based on whole-genome comparative analyses that S. epidermidis and S. aureus, in hospital settings, share some genes involved in pathogenicity, suggesting the existence of horizontal gene transfer between these species [29]. The added value of whole-genome analysis was confirmed by Virginia Post et al., who compared whole-genome sequences of 104 S. epidermidis isolates from patients with orthopedic-device-related infections. This study found a correlation between patient outcome and some loci [30]. Patients with multiple surgeries due to treatment failure were more likely to be infected with the biofilm-associated gene bhp, the antiseptic resistance gene qacA, the cassette genes ccrA and ccrB, and the IS256-like transposase gene. This whole-genome-based study identified, for the first time and directly from whole-genome data, loci that might be involved in S. epidermidis pathogenicity based on well-documented clinical data.
While such studies have yielded novel and sometimes revolutionary insights into S. epidermidis virulence, the presence of such loci does not provide any information regarding their expression, regulation, and their impact on clinical implications. Yet, whole-genome data can be used as a complementary tool when a putative virulence factor is identified, sometimes starting from clinical considerations. In 2013, Fournier et al. provided observations of a patient with S. epidermidis endocarditis, and the authors found several clues that could explain the virulence of this strain [43]. Besides known virulence factors such as MSCRAMMs, exoenzymes, and hemolysins, the authors identified a previously unreported prophage, a new toxin/antitoxin module, and a complete icaABCD operon, which was usually not observed in non-pathogenic strains. As observed by Conlan et al., this pathogenic strain also lacked the fdh gene.
The existence of enterotoxins and pathogenicity islands in S. epidermidis has been controversial, despite observations by Madhusoodanan et al. of such a genetic element in the clinical strain S. epidermidis FRI909, which carried two functional enterotoxin genes sec3 and sell [59]. This unique observation was initially considered as a possible genetic “accident”. In 2016, we described two strains isolated from septic shock patients that produced a staphylococcal enterotoxin C with homology to S. aureus enterotoxin C3 [60]. By using whole-genome data, we thereafter provided evidence that the sec3 from our strains was located on a pathogenicity island very similar to the one described by Madhusoodanan et al., named SePI-1/SeCI-1 [44]. We also identified several plasmids carrying resistance genes and sharing homologies with S. aureus. This result confirmed that some mobile genetic elements from S. epidermidis might come from S. aureus, with the transfer of virulence factors.
Recently, Xu et al. performed a whole-genome analysis of a multi-resistant S. epidermidis strain isolated in the environment, i.e., in a hotel room, and identified multiple loci dedicated to antibiotic resistance but also to numerous virulence genes, as described previously [45].
S. epidermidis is a major cause of nosocomial infections within other CoNS. The existence of several factors that modulate its commensal life cycle on the skin also turns this species into a pathogen when entering sterile sites. Whole-genome studies have provided specific and unique data regarding the general evolution of its genome and interactions with other staphylococci, such as S. aureus. However, whole-genome data also appear as crucial and unique complementary analyses when a specific strain is isolated clinically, or when a putative virulence factor is molecularly identified.

2.2. Staphylococcus lugdunensis

S. lugdunensis is considered a significant pathogen in human infection [17]. Clinically, its virulence is most likely lower than that of S. aureus. Clinical observations have emphasized the frequency and severity of skin and soft tissue infections, endocarditis, and osteoarticular infections [61,62,63]. Microbiologically, this CoNS produces a coagulase, which is a common feature with S. aureus [64]. Its pathogenicity has been noted by several authors, and multiple virulence factors have been identified molecularly, including adhesion molecules like a fibrinogen-binding protein; cytotoxins such as δ-like-hemolysin; a complete biofilm synthesis system, including an agr regulating operon; and as seen in S. aureus, a large system dedicated to iron metabolism [65,66,67]. Interestingly, Heilbronner et al. showed that duplication of the isd locus provided a selective advantage to S. lugdunensis in the case of iron limitation, possibly improving bacteria survival and pathogenicity. Recently, we identified and purified a novel metalloprotease named lugdulysin that could be implicated in osteoarticular infections [61].
S. lugdunensis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are listed in Table 2. The first complete genome of S. lugdunensis was published by Tse et al. in 2010 [68]. Since then, 17 complete genomes have been published, and eight additional draft genomes are available in GenBank. Nevertheless, the first exploitation of a complete genome was provided by Heilbronner et al. in 2011 [50]. The authors published the complete genome of strain N920143 and identified several putative virulence factors based on comparative genomics and homologies searches. They identified, for the first time, a complete operon implicated in iron metabolism (isd: isdB-J-C-K-E-F-G), several genes coding for MSCRAMMs such as fibrinogen and Von Willebrand adhesion factors, a streptolysin S-like toxin, an IcaABCD operon for biofilm synthesis, agr regulation genes, and even an esx locus with homology to the esx-ESAT 6 secretion systems that are implicated in the secretion of virulence factors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Due to the frequent localization of virulence genes on mobile genetic elements in S. aureus, in 2017 we also published the complete genome of seven strains of S. lugdunensis and identified multiple mobile genetic elements [51]. We identified a very unusual number of plasmids and prophages by using computational methods, including four new prophages and five plasmids, in which three were previously described in other CoNS and one in S. aureus. This study suggested that horizontal gene exchange could occur between staphylococci, including S. aureus. Descriptions of plasmids and prophages in CoNS remain rare, but, interestingly, they have been performed mainly in S. epidermidis and S. haemolyticus.
S. lugdunensis is characterized by its unusual antimicrobial susceptibility, even if some rare strains are oxacillin-resistant. In 2017, Chang et al. fully characterized, for the first time, two novel variants of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec elements in two oxacillin-resistant S. lugdunensis strains by using whole-genome sequence data [69]. The authors also identified several homologies with S. aureus, S. haemolyticus, and S. epidermidis cassette chromosome regions. If this result suggested once again the existence of horizontal gene exchanges between staphylococci, including S. aureus, the very unusual antimicrobial susceptibly of S. lugdunensis remained unexplained in comparison to other CoNS, which displayed a very high rate of resistance, particularly in nosocomial settings [19]. We recently published a comparative genomic analysis of S. lugdunensis whole-genome with S. aureus and S. epidermidis [32]. S. epidermidis and S. aureus are characterized by an open pan genome, which means that those species display a virtually unlimited number of new genes when adding different genomes, even if they conserve a limited number of genes through the strains called the core genome. Conversely, S. lugdunensis display a closed pan genome, and all published genomes were very similar, with only a very limited number of new genes among the strains. This unexpected characteristic could explain the very well conserved antimicrobial susceptibility of S. lugdunensis that rarely acquires resistance genes. We also found that this observation could rely on the presence of numerous barriers to horizontal gene transfer in this species, including restriction-modification, CRISPR/Cas, and toxin/antitoxin systems.
S. lugdunensis is a very particular CoNS and might be closer to S. aureus than other CoNS in terms of virulence. Whole-genome sequence studies have emphasized its originality on a genomic scale, including the presence of multiple unusual factors implicated in its pathogenicity and that are uncommon for CoNS, like its iron metabolism system. Overall, its genome encodes for several factors that take part in its survival on the skin as a commensal bacterium, such as adhesion proteins and biofilm capacities. Once again, those factors probably act as virulence factors once the cutaneous barrier is broken. Comparative genomic studies have also revealed that it displays a unique profile in terms of genomic plasticity, which could explain some of its microbiological characteristics, such as its highly-conserved antimicrobial susceptibility.

2.3. Staphylococcus capitis

S. capitis is the third CoNS that has been described in clinical infections and for which whole-genome studies focusing on its virulence are available [13]. S. capitis infections have been described in various clinical situations implicating biofilm production as endocarditis, catheter-related bacteremia, and prosthetic joint infections [70,71]. This species also causes neonatal sepsis in neonatal intensive care units [72,73].
S. capitis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are listed in Table 3. The first draft genome of this species was released in 2009, and the first complete genome was published in 2015 by Cameron et al. to determine the genetic determinants that could support its pathogenicity [46]. The authors identified several loci that could encode for virulence factors and performed a comparative genomic analysis with the S. epidermidis genome. They identified putative virulence regulators (as agr homologs), biofilm production loci, genes encoding for exoenzymes (as metalloproteases and hemolysins), PSMs, and MSCRAMMs. This genome-scale analysis led to a functional analysis of biofilm and PSMs production.
At a larger scale, it appears that some clonal strains might be implicated in the context of neonatal sepsis as suggested by Butin et al., who observed the worldwide endemicity in 17 countries of a multidrug-resistant strain by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns but also whole-genome sequence data [74]. Multidrug resistance has emerged as a crucial issue in S. capitis infections, with nearly half of the strains being oxacillin-resistant in hospital settings; occasionally, some strains with vancomycin reduced susceptibility have been identified [72,73]. Li et al. provided a complete whole-genome analysis of a multi-resistant strain causing bacteremia, and found a very high and unusual number of genes implicated in such a resistant profile [47]. Recently, Simoes et al. published the first whole-genome sequence of S. capitis strain NRCS-A, which is a multi-resistant clone implicated in neonatal infections worldwide, by using PacBio (PacBio, Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA) long read sequencing, and provided comparative genomic analysis with three other NRCS-A sequenced clones coming from different countries [48]. The authors identified, as expected, multiple resistant genes, but interestingly, some of them were located on mobile genetic elements. The authors identified several virulence genes which had been described previously by Cameron et al., but more specifically, they identified which of them was clone-specific as a putative restriction-modification system and a nisin resistance gene, which could explain the persistence of NRCS-A clones in patients’ gut microbiota. In 2017, Kumar et al. used whole-genome sequence data to reveal the existence of four loci encoding for antimicrobial peptides [49]. The authors were then able to perform a functional analysis to confirm the functionality (antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including S. aureus) of those genes, and formulate the hypothesis that such antimicrobial peptides could explain the adaptation and the persistence of S. capitis on the human skin.
S. capitis is considered a serious pathogen, particularly in neonatal settings, and whole-genome studies have provided useful and unique data regarding the spread of its antimicrobial resistance, but have also emphasized its ability to colonize and persist on human skin, which is directly linked to its pathogenicity regarding catheter-associated infections.

2.4. Staphylococcus caprae

S. caprae is a normal component of the animal skin flora and can cause mastitis, principally in goats [13]. It also belongs to the human skin flora and is an observed cause of osteoarticular infections and also material-associated infections and bacteremia [20]. Until recently, only six draft genomes of S. caprae were available from humans and goats. S. caprae whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are listed in Table 4. In 2018, Watanabe et al. published a comparative genomic analysis of three human strains by performing a whole-genome assembly which leads to three complete chromosomes [54]. The authors compared the conserved genome parts of S. epidermidis, S. capitis, and S. caprae, as all previous phylogeny studies found all three species belonged to the same group (S. epidermidis group) [22]. They found that all three species shared a biofilm- and capsule-associated loci, and they also shared PSM genes. They also identified several putative MSCRAMMs genes. We observed that the three species belonged to the S. epidermidis group and shared very common features for skin resident bacteria. The similarity in clinical presentation of infection caused by these species in human disease has been illuminated.

2.5. Staphylococcus haemolyticus

S. haemolyticus is a commensal bacterium but is also a frequent nosocomial pathogen that has been described mainly in catheter-related bacteremia, with one of the highest degrees of methicillin resistance among CoNS [19,75,76]. S. haemolyticus whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are listed in Table 4. S. haemolyticus was one of the first CoNS with a complete genome published by Takeuchi et al. in 2005 [52]. The authors identified several putative virulence factors in this pioneering study, such as hemolysins and bacterial capsule. Until now, no publication has completely explored the presence of virulence genes in this species, warranting future studies. Some previous studies have described the presence of cytotoxins, enterotoxins, and PSMs at the molecular level, which is exceptional among CoNS [77,78]. This species is also a biofilm-producing species, but interestingly, in 2016, Hong et al. published the first complete sequence of S. haemolyticus by using PacBio (PacBio, Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA) long read sequencing and found no ica operon, but an agr regulation system homolog, suggesting that alternative mechanisms were implicated in biofilm formation [53]. Thus, S. haemolyticus is a significant pathogen in humans, but it appears that a complete whole-genome analysis of those virulence factors is lacking, whereas, several complete genomes are already available with this species bearing very unusual virulence factors for a CoNS.

2.6. Staphylococcus saprophyticus

S. saprophyticus is a commensal CoNS and can lead to lower urinary tract infections in young women [79,80]. Colonization of the genital area and the gut has been linked to this atypical type of infection, but most importantly, it was shown in vitro that this CoNS has an unusual capacity to adhere to urothelial cells and to produce urease. Nevertheless, those characteristics are not unique in CoNS and do not fully explain the capacity of this CoNS to cause urinary tract infections. S. saprophyticus whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants are listed in Table 4. In 2005, Kuroda et al. established the first complete genome of S. saprophyticus, and until now, only six complete genomes for this species have been made available in GenBank [55]. The authors identified three factors that could explain the specificity of S. saprophyticus pathogenicity by using whole-genome data and a comparative genomic approach. They identified a novel—and unique among CoNS—cell wall-anchored protein, UafA, associated at a molecular level with a high capacity to adhere to cells from the urinary tract. They also identified a unique uro-adaptative transport system and urease production as the two other factors that could be linked to the specific pathogenicity of S. saprophyticus. Since 2005, whole-genome virulence studies have been lacking, but adherence and persistence onto the urinary tract have been confirmed as the main factors that could be linked to pathogenicity [81,82,83]. Overall, S. saprophyticus, lacks many of the adhesion proteins and other virulence factors that have been identified in CoNS from the S. epidermidis group, S. caprae, and S. lugdunensis, which probably explains the differences that are observed at a clinical level.

2.7. Phylogenetic Relationship among Staphylococcus Species

In 2012, Lamers et al. proposed a refined classification of staphylococci using a combination of Bayesian and maximum likelihood analysis of multilocus data based on four loci (non coding 16S rRNA, dnaJ, rpoB, and tuf) [22]. The authors identified six species groups and 15 cluster groups among staphylococci, a classification that is considered as a current standard for staphylococci phylogenetic classification [13]. Interestingly, S. lugdunensis appeared in a unique cluster group, a particularity that could be link to the very low allelic polymorphism of this species and the existence of a closed pangenome, a unique characteristic among CoNS [32,84]. In addition, S. epidermidis, S. capare, and S. capitis which are described here as pathogenic species in nosocomial settings belong to the same cluster group, along with S. saccharolyticus. S. saprophyticus and S. haemolyticus belong to distinct cluster groups in this classification. This classification does not clarify the mechanisms by which staphylococci acquire genes, including virulence factors, but only emphasize the uniqueness of S. lugdunensis, even if more generally, all staphylococci have strong barriers preventing horizontal gene transfers, making their transformation extremely difficult even in vitro [85].

3. Conclusions

The emergence of nosocomial infections with CoNS has illuminated the role of numerous virulence factors. In the context of infections and breaches of the skin barrier, these factors allow virulent adherence, persistence, and multiplication of CoNS. The use of whole-genome sequence data has evidenced the multiplicity of such factors in CoNS. It would be more appropriate to characterize these elements as pathogenicity factors, even if some of them can appear exceptionally as virulence factors that may lead to specific clinical conditions, as seen with S. epidermidis-producing strains.
The increasing data that are now available at the clinical, molecular, and genomic levels even make possible the development of innovative approaches to characterize bacterial pathogenicity. Deneke et al. proposed such a novel approach by using a machine learning workflow that determines the pathogenicity of a novel bacterial species based on genomic data only, an eventuality that is not rare with the increasing use of metagenomic analyses in various environments and microbiota [86].
Nevertheless, if sequencing technologies have become cheaper and whole-genome sequence data easier to produce, they will remain as complementary tools to molecular and clinical studies that have to be coordinated in a structured framework [87]. Good practices and quality controls have become crucial to ensure the quality of the released genomes and the validity of analyses [88,89].

Author Contributions

Conceptualization: X.A. and G.P.; Methodology: X.A. and G.P.; Analysis of the studies: X.A. and Y.H.; Writing–Original Draft Preparation: X.A. and K.P.; Writing–Review and Editing: G.P. and Y.H.; Supervision: G.P.


No funding.


The authors would like to thank Enago ( for the English language review.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Falkow, S. Molecular Koch’s postulates applied to microbial pathogenicity. Rev. Infect. Dis. 1988, 10 (Suppl. 2), S274–S276. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Pallen, M.J.; Wren, B.W. Bacterial pathogenomics. Nature 2007, 449, 835–842. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  3. Liu, B.; Zheng, D.; Jin, Q.; Chen, L.; Yang, J. VFDB 2019: A comparative pathogenomic platform with an interactive web interface. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019, 47, D687–D692. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. Urban, M.; Cuzick, A.; Rutherford, K.; Irvine, A.; Pedro, H.; Pant, R.; Sadanadan, V.; Khamari, L.; Billal, S.; Mohanty, S.; et al. PHI-base: A new interface and further additions for the multi-species pathogen-host interactions database. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017, 45, D604–D610. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. Sayers, S.; Li, L.; Ong, E.; Deng, S.; Fu, G.; Lin, Y.; Yang, B.; Zhang, S.; Fa, Z.; Zhao, B.; et al. Victors: A web-based knowledge base of virulence factors in human and animal pathogens. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019, 47, D693–D700. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Grice, E.A.; Segre, J.A. The skin microbiome. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2011, 9, 244–253. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  7. Shallcross, L.J.; Fragaszy, E.; Johnson, A.M.; Hayward, A.C. The role of the Panton-Valentine leucocidin toxin in staphylococcal disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect. Dis. 2013, 13, 43–54. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  8. Spaulding, A.R.; Salgado-Pabón, W.; Kohler, P.L.; Horswill, A.R.; Leung, D.Y.M.; Schlievert, P.M. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen exotoxins. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2013, 26, 422–447. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. Lacey, K.A.; Geoghegan, J.A.; McLoughlin, R.M. The Role of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors in Skin Infection and Their Potential as Vaccine Antigens. Pathogens 2016, 5, 22. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. Otto, M. Staphylococcus aureus toxins. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 2014, 17, 32–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  11. Foster, T.J.; Geoghegan, J.A.; Ganesh, V.K.; Höök, M. Adhesion, invasion and evasion: The many functions of the surface proteins of Staphylococcus aureus. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2014, 12, 49–62. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. Strauß, L.; Ruffing, U.; Abdulla, S.; Alabi, A.; Akulenko, R.; Garrine, M.; Germann, A.; Grobusch, M.P.; Helms, V.; Herrmann, M.; et al. Detecting Staphylococcus aureus Virulence and Resistance Genes: A Comparison of Whole-Genome Sequencing and DNA Microarray Technology. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2016, 54, 1008–1016. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. Becker, K.; Heilmann, C.; Peters, G. Coagulase-negative staphylococci. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2014, 27, 870–926. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. Otto, M. Staphylococcus epidermidis—The “accidental” pathogen. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2009, 7, 555–567. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. Dong, Y.; Speer, C.P.; Glaser, K. Beyond sepsis: Staphylococcus epidermidis is an underestimated but significant contributor to neonatal morbidity. Virulence 2018, 9, 621–633. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. Otto, M. Molecular basis of Staphylococcus epidermidis infections. Semin. Immunopathol. 2011, 34, 201–214. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. Argemi, X.; Hansmann, Y.; Riegel, P.; Prévost, G. Is Staphylococcus lugdunensis Significant in Clinical Samples? J. Clin. Microbiol. 2017, 55, 3167–3174. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. Soumya, K.R.; Philip, S.; Sugathan, S.; Mathew, J.; Radhakrishnan, E.K. Virulence factors associated with Coagulase Negative Staphylococci isolated from human infections. 3 Biotech. 2017, 7, 140. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. Argemi, X.; Riegel, P.; Lavigne, T.; Lefebvre, N.; Grandpré, N.; Hansmann, Y.; Jaulhac, B.; Prévost, G.; Schramm, F. Implementation of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry in Routine Clinical Laboratories Improves Identification of Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci and Reveals the Pathogenic Role of Staphylococcus lugdunensis. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2015, 53, 2030–2036. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. D’Ersu, J.; Aubin, G.G.; Mercier, P.; Nicollet, P.; Bémer, P.; Corvec, S. Characterization of Staphylococcus caprae Clinical Isolates Involved in Human Bone and Joint Infections, Compared with Goat Mastitis Isolates. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2016, 54, 106–113. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. Seng, P.; Barbe, M.; Pinelli, P.O.; Gouriet, F.; Drancourt, M.; Minebois, A.; Cellier, N.; Lechiche, C.; Asencio, G.; Lavigne, J.P.; et al. Staphylococcus caprae bone and joint infections: A re-emerging infection? Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Off. Publ. Eur. Soc. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2014, 20, O1052–O1058. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. Lamers, R.P.; Muthukrishnan, G.; Castoe, T.A.; Tafur, S.; Cole, A.M.; Parkinson, C.L. Phylogenetic relationships among Staphylococcus species and refinement of cluster groups based on multilocus data. BMC Evol. Biol. 2012, 12, 171. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. McCarthy, A.J.; Loeffler, A.; Witney, A.A.; Gould, K.A.; Lloyd, D.H.; Lindsay, J.A. Extensive horizontal gene transfer during Staphylococcus aureus co-colonization in vivo. Genome Biol. Evol. 2014, 6, 2697–2708. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. Lindsay, J.A. Staphylococcus aureus genomics and the impact of horizontal gene transfer. Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 2014, 304, 103–109. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. Malachowa, N.; DeLeo, F.R. Mobile genetic elements of Staphylococcus aureus. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2010, 67, 3057–3071. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. Che, D.; Hasan, M.S.; Chen, B. Identifying Pathogenicity Islands in Bacterial Pathogenomics Using Computational Approaches. Pathogens 2014, 3, 36–56. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. Arndt, D.; Grant, J.R.; Marcu, A.; Sajed, T.; Pon, A.; Liang, Y.; Wishart, D.S. PHASTER: A better, faster version of the PHAST phage search tool. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016, 44, W16–W21. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. Dhillon, B.K.; Laird, M.R.; Shay, J.A.; Winsor, G.L.; Lo, R.; Nizam, F.; Pereira, S.K.; Waglechner, N.; McArthur, A.G.; Langille, M.G.I.; et al. IslandViewer 3: More flexible, interactive genomic island discovery, visualization and analysis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015, 43, W104–W108. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  29. Méric, G.; Miragaia, M.; de Been, M.; Yahara, K.; Pascoe, B.; Mageiros, L.; Mikhail, J.; Harris, L.G.; Wilkinson, T.S.; Rolo, J.; et al. Ecological Overlap and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Genome Biol. Evol. 2015, 7, 1313–1328. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. Post, V.; Harris, L.G.; Morgenstern, M.; Mageiros, L.; Hitchings, M.D.; Méric, G.; Pascoe, B.; Sheppard, S.K.; Richards, R.G.; Moriarty, T.F. A comparative genomics study of Staphylococcus epidermidis from orthopedic device-related infections correlated with patient outcome. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2017, 55, 3089–3103. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  31. Bosi, E.; Monk, J.M.; Aziz, R.K.; Fondi, M.; Nizet, V.; Palsson, B.Ø. Comparative genome-scale modelling of Staphylococcus aureus strains identifies strain-specific metabolic capabilities linked to pathogenicity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2016, 113, E3801–E3809. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  32. Argemi, X.; Matelska, D.; Ginalski, K.; Riegel, P.; Hansmann, Y.; Bloom, J.; Pestel-Caron, M.; Dahyot, S.; Lebeurre, J.; Prévost, G. Comparative genomic analysis of Staphylococcus lugdunensis shows a closed pan-genome and multiple barriers to horizontal gene transfer. BMC Genomics 2018, 19, 621. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. Natsis, N.E.; Cohen, P.R. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococcus Skin and Soft Tissue Infections. Am. J. Clin. Dermatol. 2018, 19, 671–677. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  34. Heilmann, C.; Ziebhur, W.; Becker, K. Are coagulase-negative staphylococci virulent? Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2018. [Epub ahead of print]. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  35. Rogers, K.L.; Fey, P.D.; Rupp, M.E. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococcal Infections. Infect. Dis. Clin. N. Am. 2009, 23, 73–98. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. Piette, A.; Verschraegen, G. Role of coagulase-negative staphylococci in human disease. Vet. Microbiol. 2009, 134, 45–54. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  37. Longauerova, A. Coagulase negative staphylococci and their participation in pathogenesis of human infections. Bratisl. Lekárske Listy 2006, 107, 448–452. [Google Scholar]
  38. Otto, M. Virulence factors of the coagulase-negative staphylococci. Front. Biosci. J. Virtual Libr. 2004, 9, 841–863. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  39. Von Eiff, C.; Peters, G.; Heilmann, C. Pathogenesis of infections due to coagulasenegative staphylococci. Lancet Infect. Dis. 2002, 2, 677–685. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  40. Zhang, Y.-Q.; Ren, S.-X.; Li, H.-L.; Wang, Y.-X.; Fu, G.; Yang, J.; Qin, Z.-Q.; Miao, Y.-G.; Wang, W.-Y.; Chen, R.-S.; et al. Genome-based analysis of virulence genes in a non-biofilm-forming Staphylococcus epidermidis strain (ATCC 12228). Mol. Microbiol. 2003, 49, 1577–1593. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. Gill, S.R.; Fouts, D.E.; Archer, G.L.; Mongodin, E.F.; Deboy, R.T.; Ravel, J.; Paulsen, I.T.; Kolonay, J.F.; Brinkac, L.; Beanan, M.; et al. Insights on evolution of virulence and resistance from the complete genome analysis of an early methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain and a biofilm-producing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis strain. J. Bacteriol. 2005, 187, 2426–2438. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. Conlan, S.; Mijares, L.A.; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program; Becker, J.; Blakesley, R.W.; Bouffard, G.G.; Brooks, S.; Coleman, H.; Gupta, J.; Gurson, N.; et al. Staphylococcus epidermidis pan-genome sequence analysis reveals diversity of skin commensal and hospital infection-associated isolates. Genome Biol. 2012, 13, R64. [Google Scholar] [PubMed]
  43. Fournier, P.-E.; Gouriet, F.; Gimenez, G.; Robert, C.; Raoult, D. Deciphering genomic virulence traits of a Staphylococcus epidermidis strain causing native-valve endocarditis. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2013, 51, 1617–1621. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  44. Argemi, X.; Nanoukon, C.; Affolabi, D.; Keller, D.; Hansmann, Y.; Riegel, P.; Baba-Moussa, L.; Prévost, G. Comparative Genomics and Identification of an Enterotoxin-Bearing Pathogenicity Island, SEPI-1/SECI-1, in Staphylococcus epidermidis Pathogenic Strains. Toxins 2018, 10, 93. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. Xu, Z.; Misra, R.; Jamrozy, D.; Paterson, G.K.; Cutler, R.R.; Holmes, M.A.; Gharbia, S.; Mkrtchyan, H.V. Whole Genome Sequence and Comparative Genomics Analysis of Multi-drug Resistant Environmental Staphylococcus epidermidis ST59. G3 GenesGenomesGenetics 2018, 8, 2225–2230. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  46. Cameron, D.R.; Jiang, J.-H.; Hassan, K.A.; Elbourne, L.D.H.; Tuck, K.L.; Paulsen, I.T.; Peleg, A.Y. Insights on virulence from the complete genome of Staphylococcus capitis. Front. Microbiol. 2015, 6, 980. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  47. Li, X.; Lei, M.; Song, Y.; Gong, K.; Li, L.; Liang, H.; Jiang, X. Whole genome sequence and comparative genomic analysis of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus capitis subsp. urealyticus strain LNZR-1. Gut Pathog. 2014, 6, 45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  48. Simões, P.M.; Lemriss, H.; Dumont, Y.; Lemriss, S.; Rasigade, J.-P.; Assant-Trouillet, S.; Ibrahimi, A.; El Kabbaj, S.; Butin, M.; Laurent, F. Single-Molecule Sequencing (PacBio) of the Staphylococcus capitis NRCS-A Clone Reveals the Basis of Multidrug Resistance and Adaptation to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Environment. Front. Microbiol. 2016, 7, 1991. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  49. Kumar, R.; Jangir, P.K.; Das, J.; Taneja, B.; Sharma, R. Genome Analysis of Staphylococcus capitis TE8 Reveals Repertoire of Antimicrobial Peptides and Adaptation Strategies for Growth on Human Skin. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 10447. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  50. Heilbronner, S.; Holden, M.T.G.; van Tonder, A.; Geoghegan, J.A.; Foster, T.J.; Parkhill, J.; Bentley, S.D. Genome sequence of Staphylococcus lugdunensis N920143 allows identification of putative colonization and virulence factors: Staphylococcus lugdunensis genome sequence. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 2011, 322, 60–67. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  51. Argemi, X.; Martin, V.; Loux, V.; Dahyot, S.; Lebeurre, J.; Guffroy, A.; Martin, M.; Velay, A.; Keller, D.; Riegel, P.; et al. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Seven Strains of Staphylococcus lugdunensis Allows Identification of Mobile Genetic Elements. Genome Biol. Evol. 2017, 9. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  52. Takeuchi, F.; Watanabe, S.; Baba, T.; Yuzawa, H.; Ito, T.; Morimoto, Y.; Kuroda, M.; Cui, L.; Takahashi, M.; Ankai, A.; et al. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Staphylococcus haemolyticus Uncovers the Extreme Plasticity of Its Genome and the Evolution of Human-Colonizing Staphylococcal Species. J. Bacteriol. 2005, 187, 7292–7308. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  53. Hong, J.; Kim, J.; Kim, B.-Y.; Park, J.-W.; Ryu, J.-G.; Roh, E. Complete Genome Sequence of Biofilm-Forming Strain Staphylococcus haemolyticus S167. Genome Announc. 2016, 4, e00567-16. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  54. Watanabe, S.; Aiba, Y.; Tan, X.-E.; Li, F.-Y.; Boonsiri, T.; Thitiananpakorn, K.; Cui, B.; Sato’o, Y.; Kiga, K.; Sasahara, T.; et al. Complete genome sequencing of three human clinical isolates of Staphylococcus caprae reveals virulence factors similar to those of S. epidermidis and S. capitis. BMC Genomics 2018, 19, 810. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  55. Kuroda, M.; Yamashita, A.; Hirakawa, H.; Kumano, M.; Morikawa, K.; Higashide, M.; Maruyama, A.; Inose, Y.; Matoba, K.; Toh, H.; et al. Whole genome sequence of Staphylococcus saprophyticus reveals the pathogenesis of uncomplicated urinary tract infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2005, 102, 13272–13277. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  56. Wisplinghoff, H.; Bischoff, T.; Tallent, S.M.; Seifert, H.; Wenzel, R.P.; Edmond, M.B. Nosocomial bloodstream infections in US hospitals: analysis of 24,179 cases from a prospective nationwide surveillance study. Clin. Infect. Dis. Off. Publ. Infect. Dis. Soc. Am. 2004, 39, 309–317. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  57. Le, K.Y.; Park, M.D.; Otto, M. Immune Evasion Mechanisms of Staphylococcus epidermidis Biofilm Infection. Front. Microbiol. 2018, 9, 359. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  58. MacLea, K.S.; Trachtenberg, A.M. Complete Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228 Chromosome and Plasmids, Generated by Long-Read Sequencing. Genome Announc. 2017, 5, e00954-17. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  59. Madhusoodanan, J.; Seo, K.S.; Remortel, B.; Park, J.Y.; Hwang, S.Y.; Fox, L.K.; Park, Y.H.; Deobald, C.F.; Wang, D.; Liu, S.; et al. An Enterotoxin-Bearing Pathogenicity Island in Staphylococcus epidermidis. J. Bacteriol. 2011, 193, 1854–1862. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  60. Nanoukon, C.; Argemi, X.; Sogbo, F.; Orekan, J.; Keller, D.; Affolabi, D.; Schramm, F.; Riegel, P.; Baba-Moussa, L.; Prévost, G. Pathogenic features of clinically significant coagulase-negative staphylococci in hospital and community infections in Benin. Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 2017, 307, 75–82. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  61. Argemi, X.; Prévost, G.; Riegel, P.; Keller, D.; Meyer, N.; Baldeyrou, M.; Douiri, N.; Lefebvre, N.; Meghit, K.; Ronde Oustau, C.; et al. VISLISI trial, a prospective clinical study allowing identification of a new metalloprotease and putative virulence factor from Staphylococcus lugdunensis. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Off. Publ. Eur. Soc. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2017, 23, e1–e334. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  62. Sabe, M.A.; Shrestha, N.K.; Gordon, S.; Menon, V. Staphylococcus lugdunensis: A rare but destructive cause of coagulase-negative staphylococcus infective endocarditis. Eur. Heart J. Acute Cardiovasc. Care 2014, 3, 275–280. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  63. Bocher, S.; Tonning, B.; Skov, R.L.; Prag, J. Staphylococcus lugdunensis, a Common Cause of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections in the Community. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2009, 47, 946–950. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  64. Freney, J.; Brun, Y.; Bes, M.; Meugnier, H.; Grimont, F.; Grimont, P.A.D.; Nervi, C.; Fleurette, J. Staphylococcus lugdunensis sp. nov. and Staphylococcus schleiferi sp. nov., Two Species from Human Clinical Specimens. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 1988, 38, 168–172. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  65. Zapotoczna, M.; Heilbronner, S.; Speziale, P.; Foster, T.J. Iron-Regulated Surface Determinant (Isd) Proteins of Staphylococcus lugdunensis. J. Bacteriol. 2012, 194, 6453–6467. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  66. Szabados, F.; Nowotny, Y.; Marlinghaus, L.; Korte, M.; Neumann, S.; Kaase, M.; Gatermann, S.G. Occurrence of genes of putative fibrinogen binding proteins and hemolysins, as well as of their phenotypic correlates in isolates of S. lugdunensis of different origins. BMC Res. Notes 2011, 4, 113. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  67. Piroth, L.; Que, Y.-A.; Widmer, E.; Panchaud, A.; Piu, S.; Entenza, J.M.; Moreillon, P. The Fibrinogen- and Fibronectin-Binding Domains of Staphylococcus aureus Fibronectin-Binding Protein A Synergistically Promote Endothelial Invasion and Experimental Endocarditis. Infect. Immun. 2008, 76, 3824–3831. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  68. Tse, H.; Tsoi, H.W.; Leung, S.P.; Lau, S.K.P.; Woo, P.C.Y.; Yuen, K.Y. Complete Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus lugdunensis Strain HKU09-01. J. Bacteriol. 2010, 192, 1471–1472. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  69. Chang, S.-C.; Lee, M.-H.; Yeh, C.-F.; Liu, T.-P.; Lin, J.-F.; Ho, C.-M.; Lu, J.-J. Characterization of two novel variants of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec elements in oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus lugdunensis. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2017, 72, 3258–3262. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  70. Cui, B.; Smooker, P.M.; Rouch, D.A.; Daley, A.J.; Deighton, M.A. Differences between two clinical Staphylococcus capitis subspecies as revealed by biofilm, antibiotic resistance, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiling. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2013, 51, 9–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  71. Tevell, S.; Hellmark, B.; Nilsdotter-Augustinsson, Å.; Söderquist, B. Staphylococcus capitis isolated from prosthetic joint infections. Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2017, 36, 115–122. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  72. Van Der Zwet, W.C.; Debets-Ossenkopp, Y.J.; Reinders, E.; Kapi, M.; Savelkoul, P.H.M.; Van Elburg, R.M.; Hiramatsu, K.; Vandenbroucke-Grauls, C.M.J.E. Nosocomial spread of a Staphylococcus capitis strain with heteroresistance to vancomycin in a neonatal intensive care unit. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2002, 40, 2520–2525. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  73. Rasigade, J.-P.; Raulin, O.; Picaud, J.-C.; Tellini, C.; Bes, M.; Grando, J.; Ben Saïd, M.; Claris, O.; Etienne, J.; Tigaud, S.; et al. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus capitis with Reduced Vancomycin Susceptibility Causes Late-Onset Sepsis in Intensive Care Neonates. PLoS ONE 2012, 7, e31548. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  74. Butin, M.; Martins-Simões, P.; Rasigade, J.-P.; Picaud, J.-C.; Laurent, F. Worldwide Endemicity of a Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus capitis Clone Involved in Neonatal Sepsis. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 2017, 23, 538–539. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  75. Barros, E.M.; Ceotto, H.; Bastos, M.C.F.; Dos Santos, K.R.N.; Giambiagi-Demarval, M. Staphylococcus haemolyticus as an important hospital pathogen and carrier of methicillin resistance genes. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2012, 50, 166–168. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  76. Czekaj, T.; Ciszewski, M.; Szewczyk, E.M. Staphylococcus haemolyticus—An emerging threat in the twilight of the antibiotics age. Microbiol. Read. Engl. 2015, 161, 2061–2068. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  77. Pinheiro, L.; Brito, C.I.; de Oliveira, A.; Martins, P.Y.F.; Pereira, V.C.; da Cunha, M.d.L.R.d.S. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus haemolyticus: Molecular Detection of Cytotoxin and Enterotoxin Genes. Toxins 2015, 7, 3688–3699. [Google Scholar] [PubMed]
  78. Da, F.; Joo, H.-S.; Cheung, G.Y.C.; Villaruz, A.E.; Rohde, H.; Luo, X.; Otto, M. Phenol-Soluble Modulin Toxins of Staphylococcus haemolyticus. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 2017, 7, 206. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  79. Raz, R.; Colodner, R.; Kunin, C.M. Who Are You—Staphylococcus saprophyticus? Clin. Infect. Dis. 2005, 40, 896–898. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  80. Hayami, H.; Takahashi, S.; Ishikawa, K.; Yasuda, M.; Yamamoto, S.; Uehara, S.; Hamasuna, R.; Matsumoto, T.; Minamitani, S.; Watanabe, A.; et al. Nationwide surveillance of bacterial pathogens from patients with acute uncomplicated cystitis conducted by the Japanese surveillance committee during 2009 and 2010: Antimicrobial susceptibility of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. J. Infect. Chemother. Off. J. Jpn. Soc. Chemother. 2013, 19, 393–403. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  81. De Paiva-Santos, W.; de Sousa, V.S.; Giambiagi-deMarval, M. Occurrence of virulence-associated genes among Staphylococcus saprophyticus isolated from different sources. Microb. Pathog. 2018, 119, 9–11. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  82. King, N.P.; Sakinç, T.; Ben Zakour, N.L.; Totsika, M.; Heras, B.; Simerska, P.; Shepherd, M.; Gatermann, S.G.; Beatson, S.A.; Schembri, M.A. Characterisation of a cell wall-anchored protein of Staphylococcus saprophyticus associated with linoleic acid resistance. BMC Microbiol. 2012, 12, 8. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  83. Kline, K.A.; Ingersoll, M.A.; Nielsen, H.V.; Sakinc, T.; Henriques-Normark, B.; Gatermann, S.; Caparon, M.G.; Hultgren, S.J. Characterization of a novel murine model of Staphylococcus saprophyticus urinary tract infection reveals roles for Ssp and SdrI in virulence. Infect. Immun. 2010, 78, 1943–1951. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  84. Dahyot, S.; Lebeurre, J.; Argemi, X.; François, P.; Lemée, L.; Prévost, G.; Pestel-Caron, M. Multiple-Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and Tandem Repeat Sequence Typing (TRST), helpful tools for subtyping Staphylococcus lugdunensis. Sci. Rep. 2018, 8, 11669. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  85. Monk, I.R.; Shah, I.M.; Xu, M.; Tan, M.-W.; Foster, T.J. Transforming the untransformable: Application of direct transformation to manipulate genetically Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. mBio 2012, 3, e00277-11. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  86. Deneke, C.; Rentzsch, R.; Renard, B.Y. PaPrBaG: A machine learning approach for the detection of novel pathogens from NGS data. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 39194. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  87. Priest, N.K.; Rudkin, J.K.; Feil, E.J.; van den Elsen, J.M.H.; Cheung, A.; Peacock, S.J.; Laabei, M.; Lucks, D.A.; Recker, M.; Massey, R.C. From genotype to phenotype: Can systems biology be used to predict Staphylococcus aureus virulence? Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2012, 10, 791–797. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  88. Utturkar, S.M.; Klingeman, D.M.; Land, M.L.; Schadt, C.W.; Doktycz, M.J.; Pelletier, D.A.; Brown, S.D. Evaluation and validation of de novo and hybrid assembly techniques to derive high-quality genome sequences. Bioinform. Oxf. Engl. 2014, 30, 2709–2716. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  89. Arnold, C.; Edwards, K.; Desai, M.; Platt, S.; Green, J.; Conway, D. Setup, Validation, and Quality Control of a Centralized Whole-Genome-Sequencing Laboratory: Lessons Learned. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2018, 56, e00261-18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Table 1. Staphylococcus epidermidis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
Table 1. Staphylococcus epidermidis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
DateRefType of AnalysisGenomesStrain IDAccession NumberStrain OriginPutative Genetic Determinants of Pathogenicity
2003[40]Pathogenicity factor search1ATCC 12228NZ_CP022247Skin swabpSE-12228-01
sar, agrRegulation systems
sspSerine protease
clp, sepClp protease, metalloprotease, nuclease
hldDelta haemolysin
sdr, embp, ebpsAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
2005[41]Pathogenicity factor search1RP62aNC_002976.3Catheter-associated infectionclp, ssp, nucClp protease, serine and cysteine protease, nuclease
lip, gehLipases
hlb, hldHaemolysins
psmPhenol-soluble modulins
sdr, ses, ebh, ebp, fbeAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
νSEγGenomic island carrying PSMs genes
νSE1, νSE2Integrated plasmids carrying cadmium resistance gene and putative MSCRAMMs
capCapsule synthesis
Comparative genomics with 4 S. aureus genomes2Complete genomes from the study and from GenBank---S. epidermidis and S. aureus present syntenic genomes and horizontal gene exchange probably happen between those species in both directions, possibly mobilizing virulence factors from S. aureus to S. epidermidis.
2012[42]Comparative genomics between commensal and pathogenic S. epidermidis30Complete genomes from the study---S. epidermidis has an open pan genome, the variable genome comprises mobile genetic elements, the fdh gene distinguishes commensal from pathogenic bacteria.
2013[43]Pathogenicity factor search112142587GCA_000304575.1EndocarditisicaIntercellular adhesion factors
fbe, sdr, ebp, ebhAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
dtl, mpr, vra, aprResistance to antimicrobial peptides
sspSerine and cysteine protease
lip, gehLipases
psmβPhenol-soluble modulin
2015[29]Comparative genomics with 241 S. aureus genomes83Complete genomes from GenBank---S. epidermidis and S. aureus share a core genome of 1478 genes, and if homologous recombinations are rare between both species, interspecies transfer of mobile genetic elements might happen and shape the genome of both species regarding the environmental conditions.
2017[30]Comparative genomics between S. epidermidis strains after osteoarticular infections104Complete genomes from the study---Some genes from S. epidermidis were associated with bad outcome in patients: bhp (biofilm formation), qacA (antiseptics resistance), ccrA-ccrB (cassette chromosome recombinase), IS256-like (transposase).
2018[44]Comparative genomics between 3 S. epidermidis genomes3Complete genomes from the study and from GenBank---S. epidermidis pathogenic strains that produce a C-3 like enterotoxin bear a SEC-coding sequence located on a composite pathogenicity island SePI-1/SeCI-1 that suggest the existence of HGT from S. aureus to S. epidermidis.
2018[45]Pathogenicity factor search1G6_2ERR387168Environmental strainP1 to P6Plasmids
-Presence of multiple genes implicated in drug resistance
ebh, ebp, sdrAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
ssp, nucSerine and cysteine protease, nuclease
lip, gehLipases
icaIntercellular adhesion factors
hlb, hldHaemolysin
Table 2. Staphylococcus lugdunensis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
Table 2. Staphylococcus lugdunensis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
DateRefType of AnalysisGenomesStrain IDAccession NumberStrain OriginPutative Genetic Determinants of Pathogenicity
2011[50]Pathogenicity factor search1N920143NC_017353.1Human breast abscessisdIron-regulated surface determinants
sls, vWbl, fblMSCRAMMs
sstIron-regulated ferric siderophore uptake system
agrRegulation system
ess6 toxin secretion system
icaIntercellular adhesion factors
capCapsule synthesis
mprf/dltImmune evasion
CRISPRClustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats sequence
2017[51]Mobile genetic elements search7C_33
Skin swab
Knee Prosthesis
Knee prosthesis
Liver abscess
pVISLISI_1 to pVISLISI_5Plasmids
φSL2 to φSL4Prophages
2018[32]Comparative genomics with 15 S. aureus and 13 S. epidermidis genomes15All complete genome from GenBank---Identification of a closed pan genome in S. lugdunensis and multiple barriers to horizontal gene transfer (restriction-modification, CRISPR/Cas, and toxin/antitoxin systems).
Table 3. Staphylococcus capitis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
Table 3. Staphylococcus capitis whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
DateRefType of AnalysisGenomesStrain IDAccession NumberStrain OriginPutative Genetic Determinants of Pathogenicity
2015[46]Pathogenicity factor search1AYP1020NZ_CP007601.1BacteremiapAYP1020Plasmid
-Insertion sequence
agr, sar, sae, arl, rot, sigBRegulation system
icaIntercellular adhesion factors
capCapsule synthesis
clp, ssp, sep, htr, splClp protease, cysteine and serine proteases, metalloprotease
lip, gehLipase
psmPhenol-soluble modulins
fbe, aap, ebh, ses, ebp, bhp, sdrAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
2014[47]Drug resistance genes1LNZR-1NZ_JGYJ00000000.1Bacteremia-Presence of multiple genes implicated in drug resistance
2016[48]Pathogenicity factor search4NRCS-A
IS256, IS272, IS431mec-likeInsertion sequences
hsdMSRType Restriction/Modification system
-Presence of multiple genes implicated in drug resistance
ebh, ebp, sdrAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
icaIntercellular adhesion factors
clp, ssp, nucClp protease, cysteine and serine protease, nuclease
capCapsule synthesis
hlb, hldHaemolysin
psmPhenol-soluble modulins
sar, rot, mgrRegulation system
2017[49]Pathogenicity factor search1TE8NZ_JMGB00000000.1Cutaneous swabEpidermicin-like and Gallidermin gene clustersAntimicrobial peptides
psmPhenol-soluble modulins with antimicrobial activities
Table 4. Staphylococcus caprae, haemolyticus, and saprophyticus whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
Table 4. Staphylococcus caprae, haemolyticus, and saprophyticus whole-genome-based studies to determine virulence determinants.
DateRefType of AnalysisGenomesStrain IDGenome Accession numberStrain OriginPutative Genetic Determinants of Pathogenicity
S. capare
2018[54]Pathogenicity factor search3JMUB145
Nasal swab
capCapsule synthesis
clp, espClp protease
psmPhenol-soluble modulins
ses, bhp, sdr, clfB-like, fbe, embpAdhesins/MSCRAMMs
geh, lipLipases
S. haemolyticus
2005[52]Pathogenicity factor search1JCSC1435NC_007168.1HumanpSHaeA
-Presence of multiple genes implicated in drug resistance
sdr, ebpAdhesins/SCRAMMs
spl, clp, nucClp protease, serine and cysteine proteases, nuclease
capCapsule synthesis
2016[53]Pathogenicity factor search1S167NZ_CP013911.1-pSH108Plasmid
agr, sar, arlRegulation systems
S. saprophyticus
2005[55]Pathogenicity factor search1ATCC15305NC_007350.1UrinepSSP1
pro, put, opu, aqp, nhaTransport system related to urine environement
capCapsule synthesis
uafAAdhesin specialized in urinary tract cells adherence
ureUrease activity

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Argemi, X.; Hansmann, Y.; Prola, K.; Prévost, G. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Pathogenomics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1215.

AMA Style

Argemi X, Hansmann Y, Prola K, Prévost G. Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Pathogenomics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(5):1215.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Argemi, Xavier, Yves Hansmann, Kevin Prola, and Gilles Prévost. 2019. "Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Pathogenomics" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 5: 1215.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop