Streptococcus sanguinis is an oral commensal bacterium and endogenous pathogen in the blood, which is generally naturally competent to take up extracellular DNA. Regarded as a stress response, competence development enables S. sanguinis to acquire new genetic material. The sequenced reference strain SK36 encodes and expresses the genes required for competence (com) and uptake of DNA. Isolated from blood cultures of a confirmed case of infective endocarditis, strain 133-79 encodes all necessary com genes but is not transformable under conditions permissive for competence development in SK36. Using synthetic competence-stimulating peptides (sCSP) based on sequences of SK36 and 133-79 comC, both strains developed competence at similar frequencies in cross-transformation experiments. Furthermore, downstream response pathways are similar in strains SK36 and 133-79 because platelet aggregation and biofilm formation appeared unaffected by CSP. Collectively, the data indicate that strains SK36 and 133-79 respond to CSP similarly, strongly suggesting that endogenous production or release of CSP from 133-79 is impaired.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)