, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 951-961

First online:

Fatty acids and monoacylglycerols inhibit growth ofStaphylococcus aureus

  • J. A. KelseyAffiliated withDepartment of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Idaho
  • , K. W. BaylesAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • , B. ShafiiAffiliated withStatistical Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Idaho
  • , M. A. McGuireAffiliated withDepartment of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Idaho Email author 

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Staphylococcus aureus causes a variety of human infections including toxic shock syndrome, osteomyelitis, and mastitis. Mastitis is a common disease in the dairy cow, andS. aureus has been found to be a major infectious organism causing mastitis. The objectives of this research were to determine which FA and esterified forms of FA were inhibitory to growth ofS. aureus bacteria. FA as well as their mono-, di-, and triacylglycerol forms were tested for their ability to inhibit a human toxic shock syndrome clinical isolate (MN8) and twoS. aureus clinical bovine mastitis isolates (305 and Novel). The seven most potent inhibitors across all strains tested by minimum inhibitory concentration analysis included lauric acid, glycerol monolaurate, capric acid, myristic acid, linoleic acid,cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid, andtrans-10,cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid. Some of these lipids were chosen for 48-h growth curve analysis with a bovine mastitisS. aureus isolate (Novel) at doses of 0, 20, 50, and 100 μg/mL except myristic acid, which was tested at 0, 50, 100, and 200 μg/mL. The saturated FA (lauric, capric, myristic) and glycerol monolaurate behaved similarly and reduced overall growth. In contrast, the polyunsaturated FA (linoleic andcis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid) delayed the time to initiation of exponential growth in a dose-dependent fashion. The results suggest that lipids may be important in the control ofS. aureus during an infection.