Mannitol (Mtl) fermentation, with the subsequent production of acid, is a species signature of Staphylococcus aureus, and discriminates it from most other members of the genus. Inactivation of the gene mtlD, encoding Mtl-1-P dehydrogenase was found to markedly reduce survival in the presence of the antimicrobial fatty acid, linoleic acid. We demonstrate that the sugar alcohol has a potentiating action for this membrane-acting antimicrobial. Analysis of cellular metabolites revealed that, during exponential growth, the mtlD mutant accumulated high levels of Mtl and Mtl-P. The latter metabolite was not detected in its isogenic parent strain or a deletion mutant of the entire mtlABFD operon. In addition, the mtlD mutant strain exhibited a decreased MIC for H2O2, however virulence was unaffected in a model of septic arthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)