, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 215-223

Chemical composition and structure of cell wall teichoic acids of staphylococci

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The cell wall teichoic acid structures of 22 staphylococci including 13 type strains were determined. Most of the strains contain a poly(polyolphosphate) teichoic acid with glycerol and/or ribitol as polyol component. The polyolphosphate backbone is partially substituted with various combinations of sugars and/or amino sugars. Most of the substituents occur in a monomeric form but some strains also contain dimers of N-acetylglucosamine as substituents. Staphylococcus hyicus subsp. hyicus NCTC 10350 and S. sciuri DSM 20352 revealed rather complex cell wall teichoic acids. They consist of repeating sequences of phosphate-glycerol-phosphate-N-acetylglucosamine. The amino sugar component is present in this case as a monomer or an oligomer (n≤3). Moreover, the glycerol residues are partially substituted with N-acetylglucosamine. The cell wall teichoic acid of S. auricularis is a poly(N-acetylglucosaminylphosphate) polymer similar to that found in S. caseolyticus ATCC 29750. The cell wall teichoic acid structures for type strains of S. auricularis, S. capitis, S. cohnii, S. haemolyticus, S. hominis, S. hyicus subsp. hyicus, S. sciuri, S. xylosus and S. warneri were determined for the first time in detail. The structures of some of the previously described teichoic acids had to be revised (S. epidermidis, S. simulans, S. aureus phage type 187).