Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a rapidly growing problem, especially in hospitals where MRSA cause increased morbidity and mortality and a significant rise in health expenditures. As many strains of MRSA are resistant to other antimicrobials in addition to methicillin, there is an urgent need to institute non-antimicrobial measures, such as vaccination, against the spread of MRSA. With the aim of finding new protective antigens for vaccine development, this study used a proteome-wide in silico antigen prediction platform to screen the proteome of S. aureus strain MRSA252. Thirty-five different S. aureus proteins were identified, recombinantly expressed, and tested for protection in a lethal sepsis mouse model using S. aureus strain MRSA252 as the challenge organism. We found that 13 of the 35 recombinant peptides yielded significant protection and that 12 of these antigens were highly conserved across 70 completely sequenced S. aureus strains. Thus, this in silico platform was capable of identifying novel candidates for inclusion in future vaccines against MRSA.
- Journal Article