Role of peptidoglycan from Staphylococcus aureus in leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and complement activation associated with bacteremia

J. S. Spika, P. K. Peterson, B. J. Wilkinson, D. E. Hammerschmidt, H. A. Verbrugh, J. Verhoef, P. G. Quie

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39 Scopus citations


The role of the major cell wall components of Staphylococcus aureus in the leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and complement activation associated with S. aureus bacteremia was studied in a guinea pig model. Formalin-linked S. aureus strains HSm(R), 52A5, Cowan I, and Cowan EMS and purified peptidoglycan were used. Normal animals given peptidoglycan developed early (5-min) leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and depletion of C3-C9 hemolytic activity similar to values in animals given killed S. aureus organisms and C4-deficient animals challenged with peptidoglycan. Cobra venom factor-treated animals challenged with peptidoglycan did not develop early leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, but all animal groups persistently had late (>1-hr) leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. This observation suggests that peptidoglycan may play a major role in the early leukopenia and thrombocytopenia associated with S. aureus bacteremia in the guinea pig and that these effects can be mediated by activation of the alternative complement pathway alone. Peptidoglycan also causes a late leukopenia and thrombocytopenia which may occur independently of complement activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
form April 6, 1982. This work was presented in part at the 21st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, held in Chicago, Illinois, on November 4-6, 1981. This work was supported by grants no. AI-08821-02and no. AI-06931-10 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Quie is the recipient of an American Legion Heart Research Professorship. We thank Bill Conroy, Pat Demars, and Bach-Yen T. Nguyen for laboratory assistance and Norma Davis for assistance in manuscript preparation. Please address requests for reprints to Dr. J. S. Spika at his present address: Montreal Children's Hospital, 2300 Tupper Street, Montreal, Quebec H3H IP3, Canada.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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