Dietary Manganese Promotes Staphylococcal Infection of the Heart

Lillian J. Juttukonda, Evelien T.M. Berends, Joseph P. Zackular, Jessica L. Moore, Matthew T. Stier, Yaofang Zhang, Jonathan E. Schmitz, William N. Beavers, Christiaan D. Wijers, Benjamin A. Gilston, Thomas E. Kehl-Fie, James Atkinson, Mary K. Washington, R. Stokes Peebles, Walter J. Chazin, Victor J. Torres, Richard M. Caprioli, Eric P. Skaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diet, and specifically dietary metals, can modify the risk of infection. However, the mechanisms by which manganese (Mn), a common dietary supplement, alters infection remain unexplored. We report that dietary Mn levels dictate the outcome of systemic infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of bacterial endocarditis. Mice fed a high Mn diet display alterations in Mn levels and localization within infected tissues, and S. aureus virulence and infection of the heart are enhanced. Although the canonical mammalian Mn-sequestering protein calprotectin surrounds staphylococcal heart abscesses, calprotectin is not released into the abscess nidus and does not limit Mn in this organ. Consequently, excess Mn is bioavailable to S. aureus in the heart. Bioavailable Mn is utilized by S. aureus to detoxify reactive oxygen species and protect against neutrophil killing, enhancing fitness within the heart. Therefore, a single dietary modification overwhelms vital host antimicrobial strategies, leading to fatal staphylococcal infection. Juttukonda et al. reveal that high dietary manganese levels enhance S. aureus virulence and infection of the murine heart. The host protein calprotectin does not limit manganese bioavailability in the heart, permitting S. aureus to acquire excess manganese from the diet and resist reactive oxygen species during infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-542.e8
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 11 2017


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • bacterial pathogenesis
  • calprotectin
  • diet
  • endocarditis
  • manganese
  • neutrophils
  • nutritional immunity
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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