The intercellular adhesin locus ica is present in clinical isolates of Staphyloccus aureus from bacteremic patients with infected and uninfected prosthetic joints

Vance G. Fowler, Paul D. Fey, L. Barth Reller, Anna Lisa Chamis, G. Ralph Corey, Mark E. Rupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


Although polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) is thought to be crucial in the pathogenesis of prosthetic device infections caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis, its role in prosthetic device infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus is unknown. To assess the clinical impact of PIA production, isolates from 15 prospectively identified cases of S. aureus bacteremia in patients with prosthetic joints (8 infected, 7 uninfected) were characterized for biofilm production, hemagglutination, and the presence of a 419-bp amplification product within icaA. Although icaA was present in all 15 isolates, none of the isolates produced hemagglutination and only one isolate (from a patient with an uninfected prosthetic device) weakly produced biofilm in vitro. These results support the observation that the ica locus is conserved between S. epidermidis and S. aureus and that PIA may be expressed only under in vivo conditions. Future investigations should include animal models to approximate the complex milieu surrounding implanted prosthetic medical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000



  • Biofilm
  • Intercellular adhesin locus
  • Polysaccharide intercellular adhesin
  • Prosthetic joint infection
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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