Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Antimicrob Agents Chemother 59:4226–4238. doi:10.1128/AAC.00160-15.


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Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of nosocomial and community-acquired infections. The success of S. aureus as a pathogen is due in part to its many virulence determinants and resistance to antimicrobials. In particular, methicillin-resistant S. aureus has emerged as a major cause of infections and led to increased use of the antibiotics vancomycin and daptomycin, which has increased the isolation of vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus and daptomycin-nonsusceptible S. aureus strains. The most common mechanism by which S. aureus acquires intermediate resistance to antibiotics is by adapting its physiology and metabolism to permit growth in the presence of these antibiotics, a process known as adaptive resistance. To better understand the physiological and metabolic changes associated with adaptive resistance, six daptomycin-susceptible and -nonsusceptible isogenic strain pairs were examined for changes in growth, competitive fitness, and metabolic alterations. Interestingly, daptomycin nonsusceptibility coincides with a slightly delayed transition to the postexponential growth phase and alterations in metabolism. Specifically, daptomycin-nonsusceptible strains have decreased tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, which correlates with increased synthesis of pyrimidines and purines and increased carbon flow to pathways associated with wall teichoic acid and peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Importantly, these data provided an opportunity to alter the daptomycin nonsusceptibility phenotype by manipulating bacterial metabolism, a first step in developing compounds that target metabolic pathways that can be used in combination with daptomycin to reduce treatment failures.