Spatially Targeted Proteomics of the Host-Pathogen Interface during Staphylococcal Abscess Formation

ACS Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 8;7(1):101-113. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00647. Epub 2020 Dec 3.


Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of invasive and life-threatening infections that are often multidrug resistant. To develop novel treatment approaches, a detailed understanding of the complex host-pathogen interactions during infection is essential. This is particularly true for the molecular processes that govern the formation of tissue abscesses, as these heterogeneous structures are important contributors to staphylococcal pathogenicity. To fully characterize the developmental process leading to mature abscesses, temporal and spatial analytical approaches are required. Spatially targeted proteomic technologies such as micro-liquid extraction surface analysis offer insight into complex biological systems including detection of bacterial proteins and their abundance in the host environment. By analyzing the proteomic constituents of different abscess regions across the course of infection, we defined the immune response and bacterial contribution to abscess development through spatial and temporal proteomic assessment. The information gathered was mapped to biochemical pathways to characterize the metabolic processes and immune strategies employed by the host. These data provide insights into the physiological state of bacteria within abscesses and elucidate pathogenic processes at the host-pathogen interface.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; abscess formation; host−pathogen interface; microLESA; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscess
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Proteomics*
  • Staphylococcal Infections*
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Bacterial Proteins