Human antibody responses against non-covalently cell wall-bound Staphylococcus aureus proteins

Francisco Romero Pastrana, Jolanda Neef, Dennis G.A.M. Koedijk, Douwe De Graaf, José Duipmans, Marcel F. Jonkman, Susanne Engelmann, Jan Maarten Van Dijl*, Girbe Buist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Human antibody responses to pathogens, like Staphylococcus aureus, are important indicators for in vivo expression and immunogenicity of particular bacterial components. Accordingly, comparing the antibody responses to S. aureus components may serve to predict their potential applicability as antigens for vaccination. The present study was aimed at assessing immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses elicited by non-covalently cell surface-bound proteins of S. aureus, which thus far received relatively little attention. To this end, we applied plasma samples from patients with the genetic blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and healthy S. aureus carriers. Of note, wounds of EB patients are highly colonized with S. aureus and accordingly these patients are more seriously exposed to staphylococcal antigens than healthy individuals. Ten non-covalently cell surface-bound proteins of S. aureus, namely Atl, Eap, Efb, EMP, IsaA, LukG, LukH, SA0710, Sle1 and SsaA2, were selected by bioinformatics and biochemical approaches. These antigens were recombinantly expressed, purified and tested for specific IgG responses using human plasma. We show that high exposure of EB patients to S. aureus is mirrored by elevated IgG levels against all tested non-covalently cell wall-bound staphylococcal antigens. This implies that these S. aureus cell surface proteins are prime targets for the human immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3234
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19-Feb-2018


  • Antibodies, Bacterial/blood
  • Antibody Formation
  • Bacterial Proteins/immunology
  • Carrier State/immunology
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa/immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G/blood
  • Membrane Proteins/immunology
  • Staphylococcal Infections/immunology
  • Staphylococcus aureus/immunology

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