Staphylococcus aureus Toxins and Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Role in Pathogenesis and Interest in Diagnosis


Infection of foot ulcers is a common, often severe and costly complication in diabetes. Diabetic foot infections (DFI) are mainly polymicrobial, and Staphylococcus aureus is the most frequent pathogen isolated. The numerous virulence factors and toxins produced by S. aureus during an infection are well characterized. However, some particular features could be observed in DFI. The aim of this review is to describe the role of S. aureus in DFI and the implication of its toxins in the establishment of the infection. Studies on this issue have helped to distinguish two S. aureus populations in DFI: toxinogenic S. aureus strains (harboring exfoliatin-, EDIN-, PVL- or TSST-encoding genes) and non-toxinogenic strains. Toxinogenic strains are often present in infections with a more severe grade and systemic impact, whereas non-toxinogenic strains seem to remain localized in deep structures and bone involving diabetic foot osteomyelitis. Testing the virulence profile of bacteria seems to be a promising way to predict the behavior of S. aureus in the chronic wounds … read more