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Role of Monocytes in Experimental Staphylococcus aureus Endocarditis

By Marcel H. A. M. Veltrop, Maurice J. L. M. F. Bancsi, Rogier M. Bertina and Jan Thompson


In the pathogenesis of bacterial endocarditis (BE), the clotting system plays a cardinal role in the formation and maintenance of the endocardial vegetations. The extrinsic pathway is involved in the activation of the coagulation pathway with tissue factor (TF) as the key protein. Staphylococcus aureus is a frequently isolated bacterium from patients with BE. We therefore investigated whether S. aureus can induce TF activity (TFA) on fibrin-adherent monocytes, used as an in vitro model of BE. We also assessed in vivo in rabbits with catheter induced vegetations, the effect of S. aureus infection on vegetational TFA. In vitro experiments showed that adherent S. aureus induced TFA on fibrin-adherent monocytes which was optimal at a bacterium/monocyte ratio of 1 to 1. Monocyte damage occurred when this ratio exceeded 4 to 1 (visually) or 6 to 1 (propidium iodide influx) Consequently, TFA decreased. In vivo S. aureus led to very high bacterial numbers in the vegetations and a significant increase of their weight. However, TFA of infected vegetations was the same as of sterile ones. This may be due to the high bacteria to monocyte ratio as well as bacterium-induced monocyte damage. Teicoplanin treatment of infected rabbits reduced bacterial numbers in the blood and in the vegetations. Two-day treatment resulted in an increase of vegetational TFA, but after four-day treatment vegetational TFA dropped, most probably due to a suboptimal bacterium/monocyte ratio. S. aureus endocarditis in etoposide (Vepesid)-treated rabbits, leading to a selective monocytopenia, caused a rapid death of the animals. In these rabbits no vegetations were found at all. We conclude that, like Streptococcus sanguis and Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus is able to induce TFA in fibrin-adherent blood monocytes. In addition, monocytes have a protective effect during the course of S. aureus endocarditis

Topics: Bacterial Infections
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:98446
Provided by: PubMed Central
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