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Transcriptional and translational analysis of subsequent infection with Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabilis in Caenorhabditis elegans


Caenorhabditis elegans can be effectively used to study the dynamics of polymicrobial infections. Proteus mirabilis as an opportunistic pathogen does not cause death in C. elegans. Hence, in the present study, the C. elegans was pre infected with the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to make the C. elegans immuno compromised to study the effect of P. mirabilis in the host.


This study involved in investigation of impact of subsequent infections at physiological, transcriptional and translational levels using C. elegans.


Physiological status of C. elegans was analyzed using killing assay, CFU count and CLSM analysis. The mRNA expression analysis indicated the regulation of host specific immune regulatory genes, CUB like proteins (F08G5.6), neuropeptide like factors (nlp-29) and C type lectin genes (clec-60 and clec-87) during subsequent infections. To study which protein is regulated against subsequent infections, SDS-PAGE analysis was performed using the proteins extracted from C. elegans exposed with subsequently infected samples for different time intervals. Results of 1D electrophoresis clearly suggested that subsequently infected samples showed significantly more differentially regulated proteins compared to their respective controls.


The physiological assays and molecular studies demonstrated the vulnerability of a host as an integral event during S. aureus infections that enables the bacteria to suppress the host immune system, which subsequently lead to the opportunistic pathogen P. mirabilis to exert its pathogenicity in a host system. Further studies are needed to check the translational status of the host during subsequent infections.

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Correspondence to Udayakumar Prithika.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Prithika, U., JebaMercy, G. & Balamurugan, K. Transcriptional and translational analysis of subsequent infection with Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabilis in Caenorhabditis elegans. BMC Infect Dis 14 (Suppl 3), P7 (2014).

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