Coagulase-negative staphylococci and their role in infection

Curtis G. Gemmell, Susan Lang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


With over 20 identifiable species of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) recognized only some are associated with human infection. To be pathogenic for man it has been shown that several of these species elaborate a variety of soluble virulence factors, some of which share properties with similar products produced by Staphylococcus aureus including a haemolysin resembling delta-lysin and a DNAase. In addition CNS express specific surface characteristics allowing them to adhere to biopolymers and to form biofilms. In particular CNS produce slime-associated antigen (PS/A) and a capsular polysaccharide adhesins (CPA) which both contribute to surface adhesion and colonization, the first stage of attachment to abiotic or biotic surfaces. Following this stage, proliferation and accumulation as a biofilm occurs and requires the assistance of polysaccharide intracellular adhesin (PIA). Quorum sensing within the developing bacterial population regulates maturation and subsequent disintegration of the biofilm, sometimes involving synthesis of phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) under the genetic control of agr.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Medical Microbiology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780123971692
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • bacteriology
  • infection
  • staphylococci
  • pathogenesis

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    Gemmell, C. G., & Lang, S. (2015). Coagulase-negative staphylococci and their role in infection. In Molecular Medical Microbiology (2nd ed., pp. 793–810). Elsevier B.V..