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Toxicogenomic Response of Staphylococcus aureus to Peracetic Acid

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Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, College Park, Maryland 20742, and Microarray Research Laboratory, Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2006, 40, 16, 5124–5131
Publication Date (Web):July 13, 2006
Copyright © 2006 American Chemical Society

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    Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for many incidents of hospital-acquired infection, which causes 90 000 deaths and $4.5 billion loss a year in the United States. Despite a wide use of disinfectants such as peracetic acid in health care environments, we certainly need better understanding of the effects of antimicrobial application on target pathogens to avert infection outbreaks. Consequently, herein, we explored for the first time the toxicogenomic response of S. aureus to a sublethal concentration of peracetic acid (1 mM) by using microarray-based transcriptome analysis. In particular, we investigated the dynamics of global gene expression profiles during its cellular response, which involved initial growth inhibition (10 min) and subsequent partial recovery (20 min). Further, we compared transcriptome responses to peracetic acid between S. aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Our findings show that (i) the regulation of membrane transport genes was significantly altered, (ii) DNA repair and replication genes were selectively induced, and (iii) primary metabolism-related genes were differently repressed between the two growth states. Most intriguingly, we revealed that many virulence factor genes were induced upon the exposure, which proposes a possibility that the pathogenesis of S. aureus may be stimulated in response to peracetic acid.

     University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.


     Corresponding author phone:  (410)305-2755; fax:  (410)305-3091; e-mail:  [email protected].

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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    Transcript level comparison of Staphylococcus aureus virulence-related genes between real-time PCR analysis and microarray analysis [The results are the mean of three biological replicates with three technical replicates each (± standard error) for each gene.] (Table 1) and Staphylococcus aureus genes showing statistically significant mRNA level changes upon either 10 or 20 min exposure to peracetic acid [The genes were grouped based on their regulation directions upon 10 and 20 min exposures.] (Table 2). This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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