Prevalence of the ica operon and insertion sequence IS256 among Staphylococcus epidermidis prosthetic joint infection isolates

  • A. Koskela
  • Å. Nilsdotter-Augustinsson
  • L. Persson
  • B. SöderquistEmail author
Concise Article


Joint replacement surgery has improved the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of patients. However, the infection of a joint implant is an important and serious complication, though the prevalence is low. Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most important pathogen involved in foreign-body infections. S. epidermidis is also a commensal that comprises a substantial part of the normal skin flora of humans. The possibility to demonstrate potential specific virulence markers may facilitate the interpretation of the bacteriological findings, as well as the clinical decision. The prevalence of the ica locus and insertion sequence IS256 by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) among 32 clinical S. epidermidis isolates from prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) and 24 commensal isolates from nares and skin was investigated. Sixteen (50%) of the 32 PJI isolates harbored the ica operon compared with one-third of the commensal isolates obtained from the samples of the skin and nares of healthy individuals. The IS256 was demonstrated in 26 (81%) out of 32 PJI isolates. By contrast, IS256 was found in one of 24 commensal isolates. In conclusion, IS256 may be superior to the ica operon as a marker of the invasive capacity of S. epidermidis, since it was found in most of the PJI isolates, but rarely among commensals.


Prosthetic Joint Infection Insertion Sequence IS256 Commensal Isolate Polysaccharide Intercellular Adhesion High Pure Polymerase Chain Reaction Product Purification 
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We are sincerely obliged to Carolina Berglund for her excellent technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Koskela
    • 1
  • Å. Nilsdotter-Augustinsson
    • 2
  • L. Persson
    • 1
  • B. Söderquist
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Research CenterÖrebro University HospitalÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, Department of Molecular and Clinical MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.Department of Clinical MicrobiologyÖrebro University HospitalÖrebroSweden
  4. 4.Department of Infectious DiseasesÖrebro University HospitalÖrebroSweden

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