Antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus remains a leading cause of antibiotic resistanceassociated mortality in the United States. Given the reality of multi-drug resistant infections, it is imperative that we establish and maintain a pipeline of new compounds to replace or supplement our current antibiotics. A first step towards this goal is to prioritize targets by identifying the genes most consistently required for survival across the S. aureus phylogeny. Here we report the first direct comparison of multiple strains of S. aureus via transposon sequencing. We show that mutant fitness varies by strain in key pathways, underscoring the importance of using more than one strain to differentiate between core and strain-dependent essential genes. We treated the libraries with daptomycin to assess whether the straindependent differences impact pathways important for survival. Despite baseline differences in gene importance, several pathways, including the lipoteichoic acid pathway, consistently promote survival under daptomycin exposure, suggesting core vulnerabilities that can be exploited to resensitize daptomycin-nonsusceptible isolates. We also demonstrate the merit of using transposons with outward-facing promoters capable of overexpressing nearby genes for identifying clinically-relevant gain-of-function resistance mechanisms. Together, the daptomycin vulnerabilities and resistance mechanisms support a mode of action with wide-ranging effects on the cell envelope and cell division. This work adds to a growing body of literature demonstrating the nuanced insights gained by comparing Tn-Seq results across multiple bacterial strains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology