Journal Article

Group A Streptococcal Myonecrosis: Increased Vimentin Expression after Skeletal-Muscle Injury Mediates the Binding of <i>Streptococcus pyogenes</i>

Amy E. Bryant, Clifford R. Bayer, Jeremy D. Huntington and Dennis L. Stevens

in The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 193, issue 12, pages 1685-1692
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0022-1899
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6613 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/504261
Group A Streptococcal Myonecrosis: Increased Vimentin Expression after Skeletal-Muscle Injury Mediates the Binding of Streptococcus pyogenes

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Necrotizing fasciitis and myonecrosis caused by invasive infection with group A streptococci (GAS) are life-threatening conditions that have reemerged worldwide. Half of all GAS myonecrosis cases have no known portal of entry; yet, for unknown reasons, infection becomes established precisely at the site of a prior, nonpenetrating minor injury, such as a muscle strain. We hypothesized that GAS establishes infection by binding to surface molecules that are up-regulated on injured skeletal-muscle cells. Here, we isolated and identified vimentin as the major skeletal-muscle GAS-binding protein. Furthermore, we found that vimentin expression was up-regulated on injured skeletal-muscle cells in vitro and was expressed in muscle tissues from a patient with GAS myonecrosis who died of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. These findings provide a molecular mechanism to explain the development of severe GAS soft-tissue infections at the sites of prior minor muscle trauma. This understanding may provide a basis for novel preventive strategies or therapies for patients with this devastating infection

Journal Article.  5127 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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