Encapsulation of coagulase‐negative staphylococci of bovine origin

Karl Matthews, S. P. Oliver, A. J. Guidry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Capsule expression was assessed in six coagulase‐negative staphylococcal strains in serum‐soft agar and by india ink and electron microscopy. Classification of strains as encapsulated by serum‐soft agar and india ink methods differed. Staphylococcus chromogenes, Staph. hyicus, and Staph. simulans grew as diffuse colonies in serum‐soft agar and unstained halos were detected in india ink preparations. Staphylococcus hominis and Staph. simulans grew as diffuse colonies in serum‐soft agar but no unstained halo was seen in india ink preparations. Staphylococcus hyicus was the only strain that gave negative results with serum‐soft agar and india ink assays. Conventional electron microscopy revealed the presence of capsular polysaccharides on the cell surface of Staph. chromogenes, Staph. hominis and Staph. hyicus. Conventional electron microscopic technique used to examine the surface of cells was detrimental to capsule structure. During dehydration the capsule collapsed and appeared as electron dense aggregates at the surface of cells. To confirm results of conventional electron microscopy and to visualize clearly the cell surface, encapsulated Staph. hyicus and unencapsulated Staph. simulans were observed after freeze‐fracture and etching by scanning electron microscopy. The fibrous nature of capsular polysaccharides surrounding cells of Staph. hyicus were distinct and confirmed observation by conventional electron microscopy. A rapid transmission electron microscopic technique is described also for observation of capsule. Results of the rapid TEM method agreed with conventional TEM and SEM. The finding that coagulase‐negative staphylococci isolated from bovine milk are capable of capsule production may be important when investigating pathogenicity of these micro‐organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Bacteriology
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

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