Human Serum Alters the Metabolism and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus

Greg A. Somerville, Allison A. Parrett, Joseph M. Reed, Stewart G. Gardner, Martha Morton, Robert Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus aureus is a common source of hospital-acquired bacterial infections, where the emergence of antibiotic resistance is a serious human health concern. Most investigations into S. aureus virulence and antibiotic resistance have relied on in vitro cultivation conditions and optimized media formulations. However, S. aureus can survive and adapt to a hostile host environment or antibiotic treatments by rapidly adjusting its metabolic activity. To assess this metabolic response, S. aureus strains susceptible and nonsusceptible to daptomycin were cultivated in medium supplemented with 55% serum to more closely approximate in vivo conditions. Growth analyses, MIC testing, and NMR-based metabolomics determined that serum decreased daptomycin susceptibility and altered metabolism in S. aureus. Both S. aureus strains exhibited altered amino acid biosynthesis and catabolism, enhanced fermentation, and a modified salt tolerance response. The observation that growth conditions defined an adaptive metabolic response to antibiotics by S. aureus may be a critical consideration for designing an effective drug discovery study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1474
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of proteome research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2022


  • NMR
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • antibiotics resistance
  • metabolomics
  • serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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