Publication Date



Infection and Immunity


Deletion mutants of the two sortase genes of Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF were constructed. srtC (renamed here bps for biofilm and pilus-associated sortase) was previously shown to be necessary for the production of Ebp pili and important for biofilm formation and endocarditis. Here, we report that a srtA deletion mutant showed a small (5%) yet significant (P = 0.037) reduction in biofilm relative to OG1RF, while a DeltasrtA Deltabps double mutant showed a much greater reduction (74% versus OG1RF and 44% versus the Deltabps mutant). In a murine urinary tract infection (UTI), the 50% infective doses of both the DeltasrtA Deltabps and Deltabps mutants were approximately 2 log10 greater than that of OG1RF or the DeltasrtA mutant. Similarly, approximately 2 log10 fewer bacteria were recovered from the kidneys after infection with the Deltabps mutant (P = 0.017) and the DeltasrtA Deltabps double mutant (P = 0.022) compared to wild-type strain OG1RF. In a competition UTI, the Deltabps mutant was slightly, but not significantly, less attenuated than the DeltasrtA Deltabps double mutant. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis with Ebp-specific antibodies confirmed that a minority of OG1RF cells express Ebp pili on their surface in vitro and that Bps has a major role in Ebp pilus biogenesis but also indicated a function for SrtA in surface localization of the pilus subunit protein EbpA. In conclusion, deletion of bps had a major effect on virulence in murine UTIs, as well as biofilm; deletion of srtA from OG1RF had little effect on these phenotypes, but its deletion from a bps mutant had a pronounced effect on biofilm, suggesting that Bps and/or the proteins it anchors may compensate for the loss of some SrtA function(s).


Animals, Biofilms, Colony Count, Microbial, Enterococcus faecalis, Fimbriae, Bacterial, Gene Deletion, Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections, Kidney, Mice, Urinary Tract Infections, Virulence, Virulence Factors



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.