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Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 7, Issue 7 | Pages 457 - 467
1 Jul 2018
Smith IDM Milto KM Doherty CJ Amyes SGB Simpson AHRW Hall AC


Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the most commonly implicated organism in septic arthritis, a condition that may be highly destructive to articular cartilage. Previous studies investigating laboratory and clinical strains of S. aureus have demonstrated that potent toxins induced significant chondrocyte death, although the precise toxin or toxins that were involved was unknown. In this study, we used isogenic S. aureus mutants to assess the influence of alpha (Hla)-, beta (Hlb)-, and gamma (Hlg)-haemolysins, toxins considered important for the destruction of host tissue, on in situ bovine chondrocyte viability.


Bovine cartilage explants were cultured with isogenic S. aureus mutants and/or their culture supernatants. Chondrocyte viability was then assessed within defined regions of interest in the axial and coronal plane following live- and dead-cell imaging using the fluorescent probes 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate and propidium iodide, respectively, and confocal laser-scanning microscopy.